If you don’t like pizza then you might not be human. Everyone loves pizza. If you don’t, I feel bad for you son. I’ll eat 99 Pizzas and won’t hate one.

There are songs, debates, wars and love all made over what pizza is and what it should be. For fun, start a discussion with random people about if they like pineapple on pizza. If that doesn’t work, ask them if they think deep dish or thin crust is a better pizza. Then just walk away from the mayhem you have just created like nothing ever happened.

Pizza is a balanced meal because it hits all the major food groups, carbs, dairy, meat and vegetables. You can customize pizzas to just about whatever toppings you want on it. However, the Ninja Turtles pushed the boundaries on what you should put on pizza. If you put jelly beans on a pizza, then you are either a child, a psychopath or a Ninja Turtle. That is a pizza I probably won’t eat… Probably…

Also, don’t forget about this great country we live in where a pizza can be made of tacos, cheese burgers, mac and cheese or just about any unhealthy preparation you can think of.  God bless America.

Since we’re talking about controversial ways to make pizza, I made mine with gluten free crust. After I told some friends I made my dough this way they immediately questioned why I would do such a thing. It wasn’t because of an allergy but I explained that I like the taste of some gluten free products such as pretzels. You tend to get a crunchier taste and since I was going with thin crust style, why not make it easier by making it gluten free? Obviously, people were furious, I lost a few friends, my manhood was questioned, but I enjoyed what I made and it was delicious.

The gluten free dough was not what I had expected though. I had made regular pizza dough before during my time working at Italian restaurants as a young papino… We didn’t worry about gluten back then… It wasn’t a thing… Can you believe that? The gluten free dough did not stretch much at all like regular dough with all that glorious gluten. I did have to end up using regular flower for the rolling process, but if you do have a gluten allergy make sure you have extra available to make your life easier. Cornmeal will work as well but sometimes a blend of cornmeal and flower works best for taste and texture and your dough doesn’t stick to your counter or rolling pin. Below is the mostly easy process I used to make pan pizza… Enjoy.

Directions for Pizza Crust

I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust. Follow directions on the package to prepare

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 500° or as high as it will go (do not set broil your pizza will burn from the top).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough with a rolling pin then use your hands to gently press the dough in a round shape.
  3. Once you have the right shape, move the dough to a cast iron pan on med-high heat. Drizzle the dough with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  4. When the dough starts to bubble, use a small ladle or large spoon to spread pizza sauce from the middle all the way to the end of the crust (Cover the entire crust, it will caramelize the edges of the pizza and you won’t have any non-crust eaters just throwing that part away).
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella to your liking and add your favorite toppings. I used pepperoni, onions, pepperoncini, parmesan and prosciutto. I finished the prosciutto pizza with arugala and parmesan after it came out of  the oven.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until everything is melted and crispy to your liking.
  7. Slice, eat and enjoy….

Pizza Sauce Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (Preferably San Marzano or Organic)

3 oz. or ½ 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp black pepper

½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a pan on medium heat, add oil, garlic and chili flakes. Sauté until fragrant.
  2.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and black pepper. Stir together, taste seasoning and adjust as desired.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir occasionally and simmer for 30 minutes.

*Pro-tip, make the day before so the sauce is cool and flavors have time to meld before using.

*Place leftover sauce in a freezer bag to use on future pizzas or any dish that calls for marinara.

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