Ah, pizza. What else needs to be said, really?
But “Ah, pizza,” would make a lousy blog post by itself, and I’ve never been all that great at brevity anyway, so let’s talk about pizza.
Pizza’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Sure, you can load up a pie with whatever toppings you want — even pineapple, if you’re one of THOSE people — and I certainly have no issues with Stuffed Crust-Supreme-Deluxe-Meat Fiesta-Veggie Storm-Cheeseapalooza pizzas. A slice a day keeps the doctor away, after all.
But take the humble, classic Pizza Margherita. A slightly charred, lightly chewy crust supports a dotting of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. It’s deceptively simple. It’s undeniably perfect. And it’s a subtle nod to pizza’s origins, which — and this may come as a shock — did not include fiestas of meat. Instead, the red tomato, white mozzarella, and green basil echo the colors of the Italian flag. Coincidence? Depends on who you ask. I’ll go ahead and take a bold stance: Maybe.
At the very least, the color scheme gives me a convenient segue into the second, more important part of this post: The Recipes. Below, you’ll find a sauce recipe for each color of the flag. (Click each title to be taken to each recipe’s individual page for easy printing.) Don’t be afraid to get creative, either; use your favorite flavor of Olive Oil, experiment with different herbs, or ignore the following sauces entirely and build the foundation of your pie with something like this Kalamata Olive Spread.
After all, pizza is pizza. And pizza is perfect.
As long as you don’t ruin it with pineapple.
Red: Three-Ingredient Pizza Sauce
- – 1 (28-oz) can tomatoes
- – Harvest Ultra Premium Olive Oil, flavor of your choice
- – Kosher salt
In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, a healthy drizzle of Olive Oil, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pulse until combined and desired texture has been achieved. Taste for seasoning before using, adding more Oil or salt as necessary; keep in mind that many pizza toppings, especially pizza meats like pepperoni and sausage, tend to be quite salty themselves. Store unused sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
White: White Pizza Sauce
- – 1 1/2 Tbs Harvest Butter Olive Oil*
- – 2 cloves garlic, minced
- – 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
- – 1 cup whole milk
- – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- – Salt & pepper to taste
- – Optional: Generous pinches of fresh chopped basil or rosemary
In a small saucepan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add flour and continue stirring until well-combined. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the milk a little at a time, making sure mixture is combined and smooth before adding more. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper, and herbs if using. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Sauce will thicken as it stands; store unused sauce in the refrigerator.
Green: Basic Pesto
- – 3 cups fresh basil or other green, leafy herb or vegetable, slightly packed
- – 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- – 2 tsp minced garlic
- – 1/4 cup walnuts, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds
- – 1/4 cup Harvest Basil Olive Oil
- – 1/4 cup Harvest Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
- – 2 tsp Harvest Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired texture is reached.