“So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered–one for each of us–are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return….Holy of holies! Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise. On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy when it melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance, much the same way one shimmering movie star in the middle of the party brings a contact of high glamour to everyone around her.”

For the dough we went with Peter Reinhart’s recipe. It can be found here on 101 Cookbooks. It’s a thorough, lengthy ready but worth it for the perfect, prized pizza dough this narrative deserves.

For the sauce, we went with Forno Bravo’s recipe because I desperately want one of their pizza ovens in my backyard. Here’s the form of the recipe we made for the Wordy Thirty event.

Smashed Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – don’t forget to swirl excellent extra virgin olive oil on your pizza right before you put it in the oven

Smash the canned tomatoes in saucepan or bowl with wooden spoon or potato masher.
Don’t use a food processor or hand mixer, as those will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor.
Combine smashed tomatoes and rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan at medium-high heat.
Stir together and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Pizza Ingredients:

  • ball of fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil sprigs

Preheat a grill to as high as it can go with clay tiles sitting on the racks (our got to about 600 degrees).
Roll out the prepared dough, and then put onto the tiles on the grill (a pizza peel comes in handy here).
Let that sit for 3-5 minutes, checking it with tongs every now and then to get the crust the desired burnt crispiness.
Flip the pizza dough and then quickly add the sauce.
Twist off small bits of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle around the pizza.
Let cook for an additional 3-5 minutes before taking off grill.
Top with a sprig of basil – placed right in the center just like the book describes.
Bring the pizza table-side for all to enjoy.

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