This pizza was made on Monday evening specifically because it is quick and easy. It’s also quite delicious. Monday was Patriots’ Day here in Massachusetts ; the holiday commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. It’s also the day that the Boston Marathon is run and there’s always a Sox game. It’s kind of the ultimate Masshole holiday and I love it! This year my friend Yovani asked if I wanted to head into Boston to walk around and people-watch – of course I said “Yes!”
We arrived in Boston at 11ish and headed over to Boylston Street to check out the Marathon. It was certainly crowded…
…But we were able to find a spot and see the front-runners arrive…
…And we stayed to cheer on some of the other runners…
Then, inspired by all of the elite athletes around us, we decided to walk to the Cambridge Brewing Company for beer and lunch. The beer at CBC is amazing – Yovani had Sgt. Pepper and I had a Spring Training IPA and a Berliner Kendall – YUM! Two beers at lunch = holiday!
The Marathon, people-watching, walking, beer – it was the perfect way to celebrate Patriots’ Day. We were even able to take the 5:10 train home – as former commuters, we both have lots of memories of that particular train.
But what does Patriots’ Day have to do with pizza? By the time I got back to Lowell and dropped Yovani off, I was all tuckered out from fun and in no mood to make anything complicated for supper. There was also nothing really edible in the house – wah, wah, wah! While I considered serving a box of Annie’s Mac-n-Cheese, it just wasn’t what I wanted so I headed to Hannaford (yes, Hannaford. I love the Basket but not at 6:45pm, it’s to crowded!). I picked up:
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella for $3.29
- 1 ball of pizza dough for $1.79
- 1 big can of diced tomatoes for $.89
- Eggs for $1.39
- A quart of milk for $1.69
- A basil plant for $2.49 – the plant cost as much as a teensy-tiny package of basil, it was a better deal and can be added to my summer herb garden.
Total? $11.54, which leaves $48.46 for the rest of the week. Once I got home, I immediately dumped the tomatoes into a strainer and salted them…
It’s really important that the tomatoes are as dry as possible when you put them on the pizza. Then I rolled out the dough…
…Topped the dough with the tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a bit of grated Parmesan…
…And tossed it in the oven. While the pizza was baking, I cut up some of the basil. Once it came out of the oven, the basil went right on top. Yummmm!
Delicious and super-easy to boot!
Not Particularly Authentic Pizza Margherita
- 1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1 ball of pizza dough
- 6 – 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
- Parmesan (optional)
- A handful of fresh basil
Drain and dry the canned tomatoes – strain them in a sieve with a pinch of salt for at least 15 minutes. The tomatoes need to be really dry or your crust will get soggy and a soggy crust is not a good thing. The salt both draws out the moisture and seasons the tomatoes – it’s important. Roll out your pizza dough. Top the rolled dough with the tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and, if you wish, grate a bit of Parmesan over the top. Bake the pizza until it’s golden brown and delicious – about 10 minutes. Once it comes out of the oven, immediately sprinkle fresh basil over the top.
The pizza itself cost about $7, it’s much fancier and cheaper than delivery – it also takes just about the same amount of time.
We enjoyed our pizza while watching the second half of Prime Suspect I – I just love Helen Mirren! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day!