Monday, January 28, 2008

I’ve been trying to perfect pizza at home. Mark and I are pizza snobs having been spoiled with numerous trips to New York City where the pizza is thin and crispy. The closest we can come to that is Gio’s (Gio's Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar, 4805 Cortez Road W, Bradenton(941) 792-3388).

A bit about Gio’s. The restaurant is small so the tables are a little cozy but the place is great and you forget that you’re in a strip mall restaurant when you sit down. As do a lot of the restaurants, they start you off with bread and olive oil and seasonings. The chunks of bread are fresh, their EVOO was very good with excellent seasonings. The pizza is delicious and if you are a fan of thin crust than you'll absolutely love it. For an extra kick, you can ask them to use the puttanesca sauce on your pie instead of the regular marinara (which is good too).

So, I’ve been trying to recreate at home. I’ve been inspired by The Home Cook . You just can’t do it without a pizza stone. That’s it. Period. End of sentence. I got a stone for Christmas this year and then went out and bought a second one that was bigger. I’ll go through my process the next time I make it. But this weekend I decided to try a calzone. Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered and eaten a calzone. They always look good, but, I’m usually a purist when it comes to pizza places.

I used the usual amount of dough and divided it. Rolled it out as best I could on a sprinkling of cornmeal. I mixed ricotta with cut up pepperoni, mozzerella, garlic powder, and some italian seasonings. I made a sauce of some crushed tomatoes with a pinch of sugar, a bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes and some italian seasonings. I cooked that down until it was nice and thick. I spread just a tad on half of the rolled out dough pieces and then spread out the ricotta mixture. Topped with more mozzerella and brushed the top with an egg wash. It went into the oven on the stone for about 10 minutes. We dipped each bite in the leftover tomato sauce. It was good – we each had half leftover which was good for Sunday lunch – but I’m not sure if I would do it again. And if I do, I would definitetly do things differently. More flavor inside. Cook longer. More meat. Make it prettier.

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