Shocking revelation: finding a decent slice of pizza here is not a daunting task. It’s only too easy to step outside, walk a few feet, and find yourself at a place like Il Forno Roscioli, where you can get many different kinds of pizza al taglio (by the slice) for 2-3 euros a slice. Included in that price is the added satisfaction of watching the guy behind the counter use a giant cleaver to hack off your slice, when you and I both know that a pizza cutter or a pair of scissors would achieve the same effect.

There are two ways to eat pizza here. Pizza in pie form is typically reserved for sit-down dinners at restaurants. For lunch, pizza is sold by the slice, usually folded over like a panino and wrapped in an impenetrable fortress of wax and parchment paper. Sometimes I am too impatient to free the pizza from its papery prison, and that is the story of how I spilled a lemon granita all over my flip-flops! In the grand scheme of things, pizza trumps granita, and so it was all worth it.

But sometimes, I want to make pizza my way. With a little garlic, or some pesto maybe. A simple dough, a little homemade tomato sauce with garlic, rosemary and crushed red peppers, some freshly sliced mozzarella, and pesto from the Campo di Fiori, and I’m pretty much set.

A little spinach, or some caramelized onions next time would make this even better. I sliced the mozzarella pretty thinly, because I don’t like very cheesy pizza, but some of it ended up getting too dry in the oven, so next time I’ll leave it a little thicker. Other than that, no complaints…

…well, just one. When you make pizza at home, you are less likely to eat it while walking around. Which means you miss out on sights like this:

I am submitting this recipe to the Holiday Recipe Swap hosted by My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats, sponsored by Red Star Yeast! Be sure to check out the other delicious recipes that were submitted!

Pizza Crust Recipe (from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Combine dry ingredients. Add water and olive oil and form dough into a ball.

Dump dough onto counter, making sure to get any residual flour from the bowl out as well. Knead dough for a minute or two. 

Grease bowl using cooking spray (or olive oil if desired). Return dough to bowl, turning dough around bowl so all sides are coated with grease. Cover bowl with saran wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.

Once dough has risen, sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour, keeping extra on hand. Knead dough a few times to deflate, then roll to desired thickness, sprinkling more flour when the dough sticks. Top with sauce and desired toppings and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and crust is golden-brown.

Pizza Sauce Recipe

  • 3/4 cup Pomi (or any other brand) tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. crushed red peppers
  • salt to taste

Heat tomato sauce in saucepan over low heat. Add garlic, rosemary, red peppers, and salt and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and spread on rolled out pizza dough. Top with cheese, pesto, and extra crushed red peppers, bake and enjoy!