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Andrew’s Pizza

Crispy, thin crusted pizza with homemade red sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese plus favorite toppings.

The Sauce: Pizza Sauce – Thick and rich, this tomato sauce is made with garlic, oregano and tomatoes. A no-cook sauce made in a food processor so it’s easy and flavorful. It’s a red base sauce for a variety of meat, meat and veggie, vegetarian or cheese pizzas.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

The ones and zeros of crispy pizza crust

From a simplistic point of view, “1’s” and “0’s” are the basic components needed to create code or programming for computers. I’m amazed that my rotary life morphed into digital heaven in so short a span of time. Years ago I worked for a computer software company that created software for libraries. They were pioneers in their niche and rendered the card catalog obsolete using “1’s” and “0’s”.

sausage-mushroom-olive-pizzaWriting the right code makes all the difference and so I’m sharing the code, the “1‘s” and “0‘s” of crispy crusted pizza without a brick oven. Andrew, my nephew and former professional pizza tosser/maker, shared this protocol for those of us who believe in making pizza in our home kitchens. So here’s the secret code, “1” for the first shelf in the oven. Cook pizza on the bottom shelf set at the lowest position where there is more heat acting on the crust. No more doughy centers! “0” for starting with zero heat. Place the pizza in a cold oven then crank up the temperature to 500 degrees and let the heat gather around it until it is crackling hot. Melty, bubbly cheese and golden crust! Enjoy this thin and crispy crust with an easy fresh pizza sauce and toppings you love.

You might also enjoy White Pizza with Arugula, Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Caprese Salad, Italian White Bean & Ham Soup, Amatriciana, Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans, Herb Garlic Bread, Zuppa Toscana, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, and Florentine Lasagna Rolls.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Smoky Sweet Wings
2011 AniversaRecipe – Asian Pencil Asparagus with Chicken

Recipe: Andrew’s Pizza

Prep Time: 40 Min | Inactive Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 2 13” Pizzas | Level: Moderate

flour-yeast-sugar-salt Dough

  • 3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup ice cold water


  • 1 15-oz can of whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper


  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese

Sausage & Mushroom Toppings

  • 4 oz Italian sausage
  • 4 oz button mushrooms

pepperoni-roasted-red-peppers-kalamata-olives-mushrooms Pepperoni, Roasted Red Pepper & Kalamata Toppings

  • 24 small pepperoni slices
  • 3-4 pieces roasted red peppers
  • 12 Kalamata olives

Special Equipment – 2 13-inch round pizza pans or oblong baking sheets, food processor

1 Dough In a food processor using the dough blade if possible, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

let-the-dough-rest-for-10-minutes2 Dough With the the processor running, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil then slowly add the water. Just when all the flour is combined with the liquid, continue processing for 20-30 seconds. The dough should clump together with no flour remaining. Let rest for 10 minutes.

3 Sauce Meanwhile pour the tomatoes into a strainer perched over a bowl and allow the tomatoes to drain, reserving the tomato liquid.

4 Toppings Grate both cheeses. Slice the mushrooms.

resting-dough5 Dough Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough in half, form two balls and let rest for 10 minutes.

6 Sauce Meanwhile combine the drained tomatoes, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with a regular blade. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

7 Sauce Pour into a 1 cup measurer and if needed, add enough of the reserved tomato liquid to make 1 cup.

gently-stretch-dough8 Toppings Slice the red pepper into strips and cut the olives in half lengthwise.

9 Dough Form one ball of dough into a circular disk just bigger than your hand. Keeping the edge slightly thicker, gently stretch the dough making quarter turns forming a 12-inch circle. Lay it on a 13-inch greased pizza pan gently stretching to 13 inches. Repeat with the other ball of dough.

spread-sauce-on-dough10 Sauce Spoon 1/2 cup sauce onto each circle of dough and spread evenly leaving 1/2-inch bare crust around the edge.

add-grated-Parmesan-and-mozzarella-cheese11 Toppings Top each pizza with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan then 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

12 Sausage Pizza Top one pizza with mushrooms then dot with 1/2-1 teaspoon size chunks of sausage.

13 Bake Place the sausage pizza on the bottom rack set at the lowest position of a cold oven. Set the temperature at 500 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and toppings are melty and bubbly. Once the sausage pizza comes out of the oven. Turn the heat off and allow the oven to cool for at least 10 minutes.

14 Pepperoni Pizza Top the other pizza with pepperoni, roasted red pepper strips and olives. Place in the fridge.
15 Bake Once the oven has cooled for 10 minutes, place the pepperoni pizza in the oven and bake according to step 13.

The secret code to crispy pizza crust is:

“1” for the first shelf in the oven. Cook pizza on the bottom shelf set at the lowest position where there is more heat acting on the crust. No more doughy centers!

“0” for starting with zero heat. Place pizza in a cold oven then crank up the temperature to 500 degrees and let the heat gather around it until it is crackling hot. Melty, bubbly cheese and golden crust!

pizza-pan-with-holesUse a pizza pan with holes in the bottom to encourage the heat to circulate, brown and crisp up the crust.

When patting into a disk take care to form a nice round circle to encourage an even dough.

Turn off the oven if you are making another pizza and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before baking the next pizza. If safe, leave the oven door open to encourage cooling.

Gently stretch the dough into 2 narrow rectangles if using a baking sheet. When baked, cut into wedges.





For a variety of toppings without breaking the bank:

-Raid the salad and olive bar at the supermarket. This strategy saves purchasing jars or packages in larger quantities than needed. Here is a list of ingredients that may be bought in the exact amount desired and they are already prepped.

-From the salad bar – diced ham, diced chicken, diced turkey, grilled chicken, pepperoni, grated cheddar cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh pineapple chunks, roasted red peppers, diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, edamame, tomatoes and spinach.

-From the olive bar – Kalamata, green, stuffed green, spanish, black, and olive medley.

-Purchase large Italian sausage links in a package and freeze them in separate packages so they can be used individually and thawed quickly.

-Pepperoni, Canadian bacon, ham and salami can also be purchased in controlled quantities by ordering a desired amount of slices at the deli counter.

For a gourmet cheese pizza, use a Mediterranean Herb cheese blend with basil, rosemary and oregano. Using multiple types of cheeses on the cheese pizza may not be as successful as using one really good quality cheese. My favorite cheese pizza is fresh mozzarella cheese; slice balls into 1/4-inch circles, arrange them on top of the sauce, sprinkle with dried oregano then bake.

Serve pizza cut in slices and pass around a green salad with Italian vinaigrette while the second pizza bakes.

Dish Designer

Inspiration – Andrew Grover and America’s Test Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: February 5, 2013

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3 Responses to Andrew’s Pizza

  1. Rachel February 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    We made this last night and it was fantastic–we loved the better sauce and crust! Really tasted like a restaurant, in fact in reminded me of Grimaldi’s. We will be making this again and again.

    • helenhorton February 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Wow! Grimaldi’s is a legend. Glad you love this recipe.

  2. Audrey February 11, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    It’s almost hard to believe this comes out of our home oven. It’s a thin crust dough with a nice crispy bottom and great sauce. The toppings meld well. It’s classic.

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