Pizza Sauce

I hope everyone had/is having a wonderful 4th! This is the second year in a row that I’ve spent late June/early July house-sitting for my parents in upstate NY. And while spending the 4th of July alone might seem boring to some, I rather enjoy it. I still devoted my day to making a ton of food and indulging in an afternoon beverage or two, and the only thing that made me feel like I was kind of missing out on this year’s festivities was when J sent me a picture of a plate full of bbq and sides. And although I now have a major craving for mac and cheese, it’s going to be ok — pizza is a good substitute!

See, the thing about spending an entire day making food is that people need to actually eat it. And since I’m the only one here (and the only thing my parents’ cats seem interested in eating are vomit-inducing amounts of cat treats or the animals they proudly slaughter), most of it needs to be preserved for my parents to enjoy later. Which is why pizza is the perfect choice, since I can freeze a ready-to-bake portion and then bake up a tiny little pizza for myself. And while I can be pretty lazy when it comes to pizza sauce (using tomato purée straight from the jar or opting for alternatives like pesto or just plain white pizza), making it really isn’t that difficult. And it makes your pizza taste even better.

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Roasted Tomato & Pesto Pizza, for one!

Q: What’s better than a big ol’ yummy pizza?
A: A small yummy pizza, just for you!

Despite how often I make them, this is the first one to actually make it on PK. Sadly, my preference for natural light in my photos directly conflicts with the fact that I make most of my pizzas in the evening, and the few leftover slices don’t exactly make for good pictures. I’ve considered dragging out the lighting equipment, but the kitchen chaos that occurs while making pizza isn’t exactly a welcome environment for large, in-the-way things, and the whole thing would likely end in me poking an eye out on an umbrella tip. And while I do think I could seriously rock an eye patch, my already-poor depth perception could not handle such a major blow. And thus, the majority of my creations have gone undocumented.

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Roasted Tomatoes

When I was young, tomatoes were up towards the top of my Most Hated Foods list. My mother once paid me $20 to eat a slice of one (a slice).  I did it, but I definitely did not enjoy it. But then I grew up, and I developed those “mature taste buds” that everyone was telling me I’d have eventually. And I realized that tomatoes are quite delicious.

OK, confession: I still have a bit of a neurosis when it comes to tomatoes. See, I’m not sure I believe that any of our taste buds “mature” (in the strictly biological sense), as much as I think we all give in to trying things we’d shunned in our younger years, to avoid being that person. And so, I had to deconstruct my childhood enemy The Tomato and figure out what exactly it is that I don’t like about it. The answer: those gross, slimy, seed-ridden guts. Ick. And I’m glad I figured it out, because now I can enjoy things like these roasted tomatoes!

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Calabrian Green Tomatoes: In Process

Several years ago, I dated an Italian. Both sides of his family were Calabrian, and those nonnas could cook like the dickens. One of them would regularly serve these little green tomatoes with bread before dinner. They were soft, olive oil-y, a little bit tart, and absolutely delicious.

Recently, I’d been thinking a lot about those tomatoes. Problem was, I had no idea what they were, much less how to make them. At first, I thought they might be fried green tomatoes (obviously, I had no idea what fried green tomatoes were either). Then, I thought they might be pickled tomatoes. Strike two. In a last-ditch effort, I googled “italian green tomatoes,” and I found this. Success! As I read, I recalled inquiring about the tomatoes once and being told something about a bowl and a weighted-down plate, on top of a fridge “for a friggin’ week.” This was it. And as luck would have it, I had a ton of green tomatoes in my garden.

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