I have to say I am a pizza fan. When in Naples for my honeymoon almost eight years ago, Nic took me to some fabulous restaurants, hole-in-the-wall places for truly delicious pizza. A couple of years ago we had the good fortune of living in Italy for 10 months and really got to taste some of the best produce I have eaten. We lived in Florence, in the 'Nonna' neighborhood and every weekend we would wake up to the most delicious smells of the up and coming family lunch.
OK so it has nothing to do with pizza (being that Florence isn't known for pizza) but I still remember the zucchini's having flavor and tomatoes so juicy and sweet you ate them like peaches- which does being me to our pizza last night. I really love zucchini and I really love butter. Since living in Lexington Virginia for the past year I was deeply saddened to find I couldn't buy my favorite- Kerrygold unsalted butter, so as you can imagine when we arrived back in Chicago it was one of the first things on the list. I knew the boys would dry reach and chuck a fit if I suggested putting zucchini on their beloved pizza, so I let them choose their own toppings of calamata olives, salami, red peppers and cheese. I on the other hand lightly fried some zucchini rounds in butter and popped them on top of our pizza with a liberal shake of the chili peppers- hot and sweet, one of my favorite combinations.
When it comes to pizza in our family I use Jamie Oliver's basic bread recipe and have never made a bad pizza yet. It is great! Depending on what flour I use gives me a chewy crust or a firm crisp crust.
As for the tomato base I get a little cheeky. I use to cook the base first and reduce it down to a rich thick sauce but I have to say I like making pizza because it is fast and no fuss (the sauce was not fitting into this equation). One day I was running low on time so I banged whole fresh tomatoes (skin and all), olive oil a diced onion and garlic into a food processor and pulsed it for a few seconds. It was a little runny so I added tomato paste and a handful of chopped green beans (I'm sorry but a few shreds of red pepper isn't enough veg for dinner in my opinion) and a pinch of salt. Perfect consistency and it was made in a matter of seconds not minutes- lovin' that!
The boys have never questioned the sauce and always gobbled the pizza up. Max did ask me once how I made the sauce and I told him, he looked at me for a few minutes and then said 'I don't think you remembered the beans this time, I would of tasted them' Believe what you will!