Pizza & Patios, a match made in Heaven

You cannot go wrong with homemade pizza enjoyed on a rooftop patio with great friends.

Seeing as it was a mid-week meal and I knew I would not have time to make my own dough (a few hour process as you have to let it sit to rise a few times), I decided to "cheat" a little and try out the fresh dough in Whole Foods. It made fresh in store, never frozen, and is the same dough they use for their pizzas. It is literally a ball of dough in a clear plastic tub and you can find it in the refrigerator section near the meal salads. The key is to let it come to room temp before you roll it out and lightly flour your board and roller to prevent it from sticking. I like to roll mine out pretty thin and could care less if it resembles a perfect circle or not :)

For the toppings...

Pizza One
Prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh arugula, olive oil, reduced balsamic, tomato sauce...
  -Roll out your dough
  -Brush on a skim of tomato sauce (I like just a skim, personal preference)
  -Add some grated mozzarella
  -Top with prosciutto (have your deli slice it on the thinnest setting when you buy it)
  -Bake on a preheated pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven at 500C for 8-12 mins
  -Top with a handful of fresh arugula, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and reduced balsamic

Pizza Two
Italian sausage, mixed mushrooms, shallot, roasted garlic, buffalo mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce...
  -Saute the italian sausage (cut into small chunks), sliced mushrooms (I used crimini, shiitake, and enoki), half of a shallot, and a few cloves of garlic (all sliced into slivers) in a pan with olive oil and cook until all is browned and the sausage is cooked through (8-10 mins)
  -Roll out your dough
  -Brush on a skim of tomato sauce (I like just a skim, personal preference)
  -Squeeze the water moisture out of the buffalo mozzarella, tear into chunks and add
  -Top with sausage/mushroom/onion/garlic mixture
  -Bake on a preheated pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven at 500C for 8-12 mins

*You will notice that there are no tomatos on either of these pizzas. I prefer to slice fresh tomato and serve it on the side for people to add on to of their own slice rather than bake it on the pizza. When you bake the tomato it can make the pizza soggy.

*A pizza stone is a round, flat ceramic stone that you use in place of a sheet pan for cooking pizza. They're cheap and work great for getting you a nice crisp not-at-all-soggy bottom crust. Highly recommended.

I also made a quick and easy cubed watermelon salad to serve with it...
  -Cut a quarter of a watermelon into apx 1" cubes and put into bowl
  -Cut half of an english cucumber into apx 1/2" cubes, add to bowl
  -Chiffonade (cut into thin strips) 3-4 mint leaves, add to bowl
  -Add some cubed feta (as much as you like), add to bowl
  -Drizzle with a bit of reduced balsamic
  -Mix well and serve cold

 all photos courtesy of our good friend and dinner guest Christie :)

With the Whole Foods fresh dough, you can bang out this meal in 30-40 mins, and it will definitely be one that you will want to make again and again.

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