Thursday, February 01, 2007

Two Ways to Pizza

This past Friday was my cat Zooey's surgery day (surgery so they could go back in and remove whatever remnants of her lady-parts they accidentally left in there when they spayed her the first time around). Needless to say, I was a bit distracted all Friday because of it. I wanted to cook something or another for dinner (mostly just to distract myself from neurotically worrying about her once I found out they were keeping her overnight) but I knew that my brain was a bit too unfocused to cook anything really useful. So I finally decided to try making a vegan-cheese pizza.

I've made pizzas before, but I've been wanting to try out vegan block-cheese for a long time. So in the morning, I stopped and picked myself up a block of Vegan Gourmet's Mozzarella "Cheez." I also nabbed some faux-pepperoni and other odd nibblings for toppings. And since I was feeling highly-unfocused, I decided to say "screw it" about a homemade crust and instead nabbed a Classic Sourdough Rustic Crust ready-made crust for my cooking needs.

Pizzas usually seem to me to be undeserving of an actual recipe, unless you're doing something wild and unusual with them. Because what--it's just "cheese," sauce, and crust, and then whatever toppings you load up on.

But I ended up really quite liking the pizza sauce I whipped up, so I decided to include the recipe anyways.

All in all, I thought it was a damn good pizza. I know some people find soy cheese absolutely disgusting, but I love it. I dunno what it is, but to me--it hits the spot.

The before...

The after...

  • One Rustic Crust sourdough pizza crust

  • 3/4 of a block of Vegan Gourmet's Mozzarella "Cheez," shredded

  • 1/2 package of Yves vegan pepperoni

  • 1/2 of an 8-oz. carton of sliced mushrooms

  • About 6 cloves of roasted garlic, minced

  • 1-2 T. olive oil

For the Sauce:
  • 1 c. diced fire-roasted tomatoes (about 1/2 of a 32 oz. can--I used Muir Glen's)

  • 3 T. tomato paste

  • 1 T. fake-parmesan cheese

  • Spices to taste: Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, onion powder

Preheat oven to 450. For the sauce, mix all the sauce-ingredients together in a bowl. Fry up your mushrooms in a pan with a tiny bit of butter or oil until just cooked through. Using your fingers, coat the crust very lightly with 1-2 T. olive oil. Spread the sauce evenly on top of the crust. Spread about 15 or so pepperonis on top of the sauce, reserving a few for the top of the pizza. Then spread your cooked mushrooms all over the sauce. Cover the pizza with your shredded cheez and then throw like 7 or so pepperonis on top for decoration. Sprinkle your minced garlic all over the cheez. Turn oven temp down to 425, and place your pizza in the oven. (I used a pizza stone to cook my pizza, so your cooking-time may be different if you don't have one.) Bake for about 15 minutes (or until crust is starting to brown on the bottom and the sauce and cheez is heated through). Remove from the oven, turn on your broiler, and place the pizza in the broiler for 1-3 minutes, until cheese has browned a little and is starting to bubble around the edges. Remove, and let sit until cooled a bit. Serve.

* * * * * * *

So after having made the pizza, I realized I had 1/4 block of cheez and a half-pack of pepperoni that I wasn't sure what to do with and figured I should probably put to use before it went bad. So when Sunday rolled around, I decided I'd try making a second and stranger "pizza" with the leftovers.

I call it "Pizza Noodles"--almost all the same toppings as the aforementioned pizza-recipe, but this time, on angel hair.

It was super-simple, pretty damn good (though nothing that will blow your mind or anything--the emphasis is on the simplicity here, methinks), and made enough leftovers for the week, so I was pleased.

Pizza Noodles

  • 1/2 jar of spaghetti/pizza sauce (I used Emeril's Roasted Gaaahlic Pasta Sauce

  • 1/2 lb. angel hair, cooked

  • 1/4 block Vegan Gourmet's Mozzarella Cheez, shredded

  • 1/2 pack Yves vegan pepperoni, cut into thin slivers except for 4-5 slices

  • 1/2 of an 8-oz. carton of sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 450. Fry up the mushrooms in a pan with a bit of butter or olive oil and some garlic powder and italian seasonings. Toss the cooked angel hair into a casserole dish and pour your spagetti sauce on top. Mix it into the noodles until they are coated. Toss the vegan pepperoni and mushrooms on top. Mix into the noodles until evenly distributed. Sprinkle your vegan cheez on top. Cover, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15. Remove from the oven, turn on your broiler, and place in the broiler for 1-3 minutes, until cheez has browned a little and is bubbly. Remove and let sit for about 5 minutes or so. Serve.

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