Easy Entertaining: Pizza and Caprese

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

Over the weekend my boyfriend hosted a housewarming party. The night before the party, he asked me to help him get some groceries. At the top of the list: Frozen Pizza. I know there are some decent frozen pizzas available these days, but I believe fresh is always better than frozen and prepared is better than purchased, so I offered to make pizza for the party. Since we were both working the day of the party, we took a few shortcuts in the preparation. I bought pizza dough, rather than making my own, and jazzed up a can of tomatoes, rather than starting the sauce from scratch. I found recipes for Tomato Sauce and Arugula and Proscuitto Pizza at TasteFood Blog, and also made Margherita Pizza and Caprese on a Stick. Here are the recipes I used:

Tomato Sauce

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1-15 oz can of crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

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

Tomato Sauce

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

Makes 1 large rectangular pizza

  • Pizza crust (I used Pillsbury. Trader Joe’s sells a good one)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 oz (around 8 slices) prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 4 cups fresh arugula

Preheat oven to 500 F. Lightly grease a rectangular baking sheet. Using your hands, stretch crust to desired shape. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp olive oil and the minced garlic clove. Lightly brush crust with the oil mixture. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the crust, leaving about one inch around the edges. Scatter the mozzarella over the sauce, then sprinkle with chili flakes. Add a layer of prosciutto, and top it off with the grated Parmigiano. Brush the exposed edges with a little more olive oil.

Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 10 minutes, or until crust is beginning to color. Slide pizza out of the oven and spread arugula over the pizza. Return to oven and bake about 5 more minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serve immediately, drizzled with olive oil if needed.

In case there were any vegetarian guests, I also prepared a Margherita Pizza, using the same sauce.

Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza

Makes 1 large rectangular pizza

  • Pizza crust
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil, torn into large pieces

Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease a rectangular baking sheet. Stretch crust out on pan. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, and spread lightly over crust. Pre-bake crust for 8 minutes.

Spread sauce over crust, leaving about one inch clear around the edges. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmigiano. Top with basil. Return to oven for 6-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

While the pizzas were cooking, I set out one of my favorite party appetizers– Caprese on a Stick.

Caprese on a Stick

Caprese Salad on a Stick

  • Toothpicks
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella, cut into 3/4 in chunks
  • Fresh basil, torn into large pieces
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper

On a toothpick, place one tomato, a piece of basil, and a chunk of mozzarella. Arrange on a platter until you have the desired amount.

Drizzle with oil and vinegar, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

I hope you will think of these lovely little recipes next time you have a party! They’re easy, and MUCH more tasty than frozen food.

-C

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Easy Entertaining: Pizza and Caprese

  1. Pingback: WIAW–What I Ate Over the Holidays | Pas de Deux Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s