Monday, June 04, 2007

Italian Pizza

I like pizzas without greasy meat. Pepperoni-oil lakes are just plain gross, so whenever I make pizza, it's normally with chicken. The 'sauce' is actually sliced tomatoes sauteed in garlic infused olive oil; this makes for a light pizza without overpowering red sauce. Loaded with Italian herbs, fresh veggies and topped with cheese... find yourself a good GF pizza crust and enjoy.

Serves 3-4
preheat 450 F
40 + 20 minutes
-9" round cake pan or medium cookie sheet for pizza
-large saucepan

1 medium yeast-based GF pizza crust (I used half of a Gluten-Free Pantry Pizza/French bread mix); needs eggs, sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil

2 medium Roma tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic
2 + 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium chicken breast
6 asparagus stalks
1/2 of a medium zucchini
1/2 of a medium yellow zucchini
1 small white onion
2 tbsp. basil leaves
1 tbsp. oregano leaves
salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, for topping
Mozzarella cheese, for topping

1. Mix up pizza crust as directed on package (use 110 F 'warm' water for yeast-- it actually feels kinda hot). Spread raw dough evenly into round pan or onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave to rise in warm oven (lowest possible setting) for 40 minutes; pizza dough should be doubled in thickness.
--Cook chicken and Saute veggies while pizza is rising.
2. Cut Roma tomatoes into large 1/2 inch slices, as if making for a sandwich; peel them if you wish, I didn't and it was fine. Peel and dice garlic cloves. Place tomatoes and garlic into a large saucepan. Let sit while you cut up the other veggies to bide time.
3. Cut asparagus stalks into 1.5 inch pieces. Slice in half if too thick. Cut zucchini and yellow zucchini into 1/2 inch slices; half each slice. Cut onion into thin strips. Place veggies beside the range, keeping the asparagus separate.
4. Begin cooking up the tomato slices and garlic with 2 tbsp. olive oil inside the saucepan over medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until tomatoes just start to get tender, but not falling apart.
5. Spread tomato/garlic/oil mixture over rising dough. Don't press down, but evenly spread evenly. Place pizza back in the oven, if 40 minutes has not passed.
6. Turn back to the 'topping': Cut washed chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Place raw chicken chunks into the large saucepan (now empty of tomatoes); don't bother to rinse it out. Cook chicken over medium-high heat until the pieces are no longer pink in the middle ~ 5 minutes.
7. Turn down the burner to medium. Add in the asparagus, pouring in more olive if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add in rest of veggies (zucchini, yellow zucchini and onion). Sprinkle toppings with plenty of basil and oregano. Saute zucchini/onion for an additional 10 minutes. Total cooking time for topping (including chicken) is about 20 minutes. Remove veggies and chicken from the range and tend to the crust.
8. By this time, your pizza should have risen enough. Turn oven up to 450 F. Look on package/pizza dough recipe for total cooking time. Place crust+tomatoes into the oven and bake 'untopped' for the first 10 minutes.
9. Pull half-cooked crust out of oven. Sprinkle tomatoes with a layer of cheddar cheese, then pile on the sauteed veggies and chicken. Top with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Place loaded pizza back into the oven for the remaining baking time. Crust should be tan with bubbling cheese. Serve hot.

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