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Pandemic Pizza: Part 6

Submitted by Bethany on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 07:10

I have been on this pandemic pizza journey now for six months. A few weeks ago I shared some of the creative ideas I’ve had and actually put on a pizza crust. I know some may think they have been weird, strange, crazy, maybe even disgusting. Up to this point I will say that we have really liked all of them except the one with hummus. It was a little dry and bland. I may try it again sometime, but with a few changes.

I will confess that my favorite toppings hark back to the origin of pizza. I love the Italian flavors of tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano and mozzarella. And, you can’t forget pepperoni. Though I have discovered that Italian cooking and baking has many more flavors than what we Americans think.

Ten years ago I started taking Italian cooking classes from a woman here in Des Moines, Iowa. Alessandra’s bubbly personality make the classes so much fun. I have learned about Italian cooking and so much more. Her classes are a lesson in culture, language and learning to be creative. She always says ‘Eat Carbs, they make you happy!’ So we like to eat carbs...pasta, bread and of course pizza! Due to the pandemic she is now teaching her classes virtually. So you can sign-up and take a class from her anywhere in the world.

Alessandra also worked with a local spice company to produce & market my absolute favorite spice, Ammazza Suocera, which is Italian for ‘kill your mother-in-law’. It also happens to be one of Bethany & Joel’s favorite. So of course, being the great Mom that I am, I shipped two pounds of it to them in Wales last fall.

A few weeks ago I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. As I was putting away the leftovers I had a creative thought, why not save it to top a pizza! We all love garlic bread with pizza, or at least I do. The crust would be like the garlic bread, except it is all in one bite. (Just so you know, I did save the leftovers in the freezer!)

In case you haven’t guessed by now, this week’s creative pizza is Spaghetti & Meatballs Pizza. I made my pan pizza crust and added some garlic powder in the dough. Next I brushed on a light coating of garlic sauce on the edge of the crust. A locally owned pizza place bottles and sells their own sauce. (With all this garlic there won’t be any vampires in our house tonight! Lol.)

I spread out the sauce and sprinkled on some grated Parmesan. I then spread out the spaghetti and meatballs, slicing them in smaller pieces. I topped it off with some basil and of course Mozzarella. Here is the final product...

This past week on Thursday Dough Day, Matthew and I made Stromboli stuffed with ham, Genoa Salami, pepperoni, Parmesan & Provolone Cheese. Basically, Stromboli is a pizza rolled up, baked, sliced and eaten like a sandwich. It was invented by an Italian-American in Philadelphia. (I wonder if it was to compete with the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich? Ooh, another idea for a pizza topping!)

I already have an idea for next week’s pizza and Thursday Dough Day. So stay tuned...

~Peggy Palmer-Johnson