Partially Homemade – A Cooking Philosophy
Grandma Rita raised seven children, the last one being my dad (Kevin, Kevin number 7, surely he will go to heaven!). She was known for her egg sandwiches, potato soup, wine spritzers, and a mysterious chocolate cake that everyone loved. She would buy a frozen Sara Lee cake, add her own frosting and plate it up for her guests – people were always asking for her recipe. Deceptive? I think not! I call that ingenious! I’m pretty sure Grandma Rita was the first person to adopt “partially homemade”.
Rob loves when I make pizza. I love when I make pizza because it’s easy. Now, my friend KT is going to cringe when she sees that my variation on this recipe calls for store bought crust. And I’ll give it to KT – her homemade crusts are the best. But KT, I just don’t have the time.
This is one of our favorite pizzas: Smitten Kitchen Shaved Asparagus Pizza. The shaving part is a bit of a labor of love, but once you get the hang of it, it goes by quickly. Give yourself about 10 minutes to prep this pizza.
Tips & Tricks
- Pizzas are another great party food because you can do all of the prep work hours before anyone arrives and just pop the pizzas in the oven when folks are ready to eat. They cook in 10 minutes.
- For easy “homemade” crust head to a Whole Foods near you (NWA..it’s coming!) and ask for a ball of pizza dough at the deli counter.
For the asparagus pizza:
- Look for large stalks of asparagus as they’ll be the easiest to shred.
- I added the juice from half of a lemon and a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes
Waste not, want not. Chop up the leftover stalks and throw them in the skillet for a few minutes – toss them on a salad or in an omelet.
We like our crust really crispy, so I buy the thin crust and bake it for about 5-10 minutes before putting on my toppings.
Red Gold tomato paste is the best base for your “red sauce” pizzas.
Use Mozzarella in a ball and tear it apart to make your pizza look rustic and pretty.
Alouette cheese makes a great base for any pizza.
Other topping suggestions:
- Pesto, mozzarella or aloutte cheese, butternut squash (pre-roasted), & toasted pine nuts
- Mozzarella, goat cheese, dried figs, and balsamic reduction (Just put half of cup of balsamic on low heat for 15+ minutes until it gets syrupy…stir constantly. Or buy some at the store, I’ve seen it in the dressing aisle). Heck, throw some lightly oiled arugula on the top when you’re finished. Beautiful!
- Triple cheese – Tomato paste, mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, manchego, assiago….you pick!
So easy. So good!
Now I’m hungry for pizza!!! Thanks for the pictures and details. I think I’m ready to try it.
That looks great. Looking back over many years of biking, pizza has to be the #1 choice apres ride.
I’m totally saving this for future reference!