The Best Vegetarian Pizza Recipe
When the kids were little, we had this fun family tradition where the night before school started following the way-too-long summer vacation, we would celebrate the new school year with homemade pizza and ice-cream sodas. I would prepare the pizza crust and roll it out into any pan or oven-proof dish I could find.
Then I'd place all the various toppings in individual bowls. Each kid would create his own mini-pizzas in any shape he wanted. Then they'd add the sauce, cheese and all the toppings.
It was great family entertainment and made the beginning of each school year loads of fun. Even when they went off to university, I'd show up the night before the semester started with my homemade vegetarian pizzas and all the fixings for ice-cream soda*.
Some traditions are too good to stop even after the kids are all grown up!
*For those of you who did not grow up with the oh-so-nutritious (LOL) ice-cream soda – it's really easy – place one scoop of ice-cream in a tall glass, add cola or root beer and slurp away!
Crust: Mix all the crust ingredients in a food processor until the dough wraps around the blades. If the dough is too dry, add a spoonful or two of water; if it's too wet, add flour by the spoonful until you receive the right texture. Pizza dough cannot be over-processed so don't be too worried.
Remove the dough from the processor and kneed on the counter-top for a minute or two. Set aside while you prepare the sauce – 10-15 minutes.
Sauce: Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the crushed garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Assembly: If you have a pizza pan, that's ideal. I actually use any type of pan, cake tin or Pyrex. Brush olive oil on the bottom of the pan(s) (you can use cooking spray instead). Sprinkle the cornmeal very, very lightly over the pan.
Roll out the pizza dough to the size of the pan(s) being used. The dough will rise during baking so if you like thin crust, as I do, you want to take that into consideration.
Using a ladle or large spoon, pour about 1/2 cup sauce over the crust (more if the pan is larger) and spread it evenly over the crust right up to 1/4 inch from the edge.
Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce – I use a mixture of different cheese to add depth and flavor – you can use whatever cheese you have hiding in the back of your refrigerator or you can buy mozzarella which gives you that yummy stringy-chewy-cheesy-ness – ummm.
Now you can go crazy with all your toppings. Add diced peppers, mushrooms, onions, chili pepper, etc. etc. etc. – just have fun – anything goes on pizza!!
Place the pizza pan on the bottom of the oven – sit it right on the bottom, not on the rack. Bake until the cheese is gooey and the edge of the crust is golden. You'll love this Vegetarian Pizza!
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