Pizza 2011 Project

Pizza Project 2011 - A pizza a week, every week for a year.

First, a definition.  A pizza is a crust, a sauce and toppings.  Sounds simple, and in the box, it's a classic pepperoni thin or thick crust with a Marinara sauce.  But outside the box, it's a Calzone or a Focaccia bread.  How about a sweet French bread crust, rolled thin and topped with marscarpone cheese, strawberries and a drizzle of white and dark chocolate... Is that a pizza?

So come back week after week (I'll do my pizza posts on Monday) to see what comes out of my pizza oven.  My goal, 52 different pizzas, all would be professional pizzeria quality.

First up, Week 1, I made a 

Pizza Quattro Stagioni A Celebration Pizza for the New Year!

Four toppings on one pizza, Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Olives and prosciutto ham; all arranged to celebrate the New Year!
The next week, week 2, I went old school classic...

The Classic Pepperoni Pizza and my EASY Winter Tomato Pizza Sauce!

Thin crust, oozing with cheese and loaded with lots of pepperoni.  Always a crowd favorite!

Week 3 was a special request.  I asked my wife to pick her favorite (and the doctored it up a bit)

Pizza - Caramelized Onions and Peppers, Italian Sausage and Tomatoes!  

This is a pizza you are unlikely to get at your neighborhood pizzeria.  The extra time it takes to caramelize the onions and peppers, as well as using a combination of sweet Pablano and slivers of Jalapeño topped with 2 layers of cheese made this a real winner.

Week 4 was a step outside of the box for a special dessert pizza. 

I love a Cheese Board for dessert, so a...

Cheese Board Focaccia Pizza - Apple, Blue Cheese and Grilled Onions  

pizza sounded just perfect to me!  The Focaccia style is a thick bread style.  This formula would work equally well for an appetizer.  This post also featured a recipe for dough that you can adapt for thick, thin, Sicilian or Chicago pizza.  Just a good basic crust recipe.

And for week 5, I made a beautiful presentation pizza.

It was also my breakfast!

4 eggs floating on top of a spicy Capicola Ham!  Tomato sauce and Pecorino Romano Cheese and my pizza crust made this breakfast miles above a simple plate of ham and eggs!

Week 6, I combined two loves... Pizza and rotisserie chicken.

Pizza - BBQ Chicken, Red Onions and Tomato Slices

In addition to this excellent recipe, I also have a recommendation for a commercially available pizza cheese.  Mozzarella with a hint of Provolone. Perfect to slice or grate, low moisture... Just a great pizza cheese.

Week 7 was another outside the box pizza, as we celebrate VALENTINE's DAY with ...

I HEART Strawberry Dessert Pizza

With a CRUST sounding more like a sugar cookie dough than a pizza crust, and a Mascarpone sweetened cheese as a SAUCE, topped with a simple strawberry jam, sliced strawberries and drizzled with white chocolate for TOPPINGS, this "pizza" stretches the definition (while still meeting that definition of crust, sauce and toppings).  But delicious and useful to have when a special dessert is called for.

Week 8 was a venture into exotic California style pizza toppings.

Pizza - Salami with Fennel and Asiago cheese

This post includes a more pumped up tomato sauce, with the introduction of wine, garlic, shitake mushrooms and mixing Romano cheese into the sauce since we topped the pizza with an unusual visual effect of the slow melting Asiago cheese.  The hint of anise in the fennel and the top quality salami made this unusual combination a real winner.