Sweet Pepper, Salami and Basil Pizza

It’s pizza night tonight – no take out necessary. I’ve got dough defrosting in the refrigerator from my last pizza night. All that’s needed are a few ingredients from the refrigerator, and it’s as simple as that. The next time you make homemade pizza, be sure to make extra dough to freeze. Then when it’s suddenly pizza night, you can whip one up as easy as ….

Sweet Pepper, Salami and Basil Pizza

Pizza dough for one extra-large pizza (recipe below)

1/2 cup  tomato sauce (recipe below)
3 ounces salami or pepperoni
1 cup thinly sliced sweet peppers
1 cup basil leaves, torn in half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 F. Stretch out pizza dough in a large rectangular shape on parchment paper.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over crust, leaving one inch clear around the edge of the crust. Arrange salami over pizza. Scatter peppers and basil over the salami. Sprinkle with cheese. Brush the exposed crust with olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizza onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 1 extra large or 2 medium pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes.) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you would like small pizzas.) Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to desired shape.