Well, being from Chicago, pizza is a necessity. It's a weekly staple. Everywhere you go it's delicious. No matter how you shape it, bake it, or make it, it's perfection. There are no "mediocre" pizzas. If there were, they'd close in a week due to all the competition. But out here in Northern Virginia...not so much. Mediocre at best is all there is.
The hubs and I have tried all the chains, all the mom-and-pop pizza shops, all the places people have suggested to us, yet unfortunately the best pizza we've found out here is frozen pizza. Yes, it really is that bad out here. Sure, there are some that I would go so far as to consider decent, but when you're used to Chicago pizza, it's just really hard to compare. That being said, the hubs and I are always on the hunt for new and different frozen pizzas.
Well, I finally found my favorite about 2 years ago. I could've eaten it every night of the week. A crispy thin crust heaven of a pizza topped with creamy melted goat cheese and roasted sweet peppers. Simple, yet heaven in my book. Then, out of nowhere, the stores out here stopped carrying it! I searched everywhere. It was gone! I even checked the product webpage of the brand that made the pizza, and sure enough, they stopped making it! What?!? How could they?? I was heartbroken. Absolutely heartbroken.
So, as you can imagine, my eyes lit up and I immediately started salivating when I came across this recipe. It was every bit of the pizza heaven I remembered and then some. We devoured the whole thing.
Pizza with Peppers and Goat Cheese
- Pillsbury "thin crust" pizza crust
- Olive oil
- Cornmeal for sprinkling
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 oz. sliced prosciutto, cut into fine shreds (optional)
- 4 oz. fresh goat cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Position oven rack on the 2nd lowest rack in your oven. Preheat oven and large baking sheet at 500 degrees for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat a little olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and saute the sliced peppers about 8 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Generously sprinkle a large cutting board with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough on top. Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Remove the baking sheet from the 500 degree oven and carefully transfer the pizza dough. Prick a few holes in the crust with a fork and bake for a quick 3 minutes, just to firm it up a bit.
- Remove the partially baked crust and top with tomato sauce, prosciutto (optional), peppers, goat cheese, and half of the basil. Bake 5-7 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Watch it carefully while baking though, as it can burn quickly at 500 degrees!
- Allow to cool for 3 minutes. Top with the rest of the chopped basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
A few notes: Next time, I'm thinking of throwing in a few sliced red onions (sauteed with the sliced peppers) as well to get a few more veggies on my plate. Also, regarding the crust, I'm sure you could use any pizza crust for this recipe; however, I'd highly recommend sticking with a thin crust (I bet Boboli's whole wheat thin crust would be delicious...and a *tad* bit healthier than the Pillsbury in a can). Just adjust the baking time accordingly (omitting the pre-baking of the crust if your substitute is already pre-cooked). I used Pillsbury only because the hubs did the grocery shopping for the week and Pillsbury in a can was we got! And I wasn't going to complain. It was PERFECT! If you're ambitious you could even make your own thin crust as called for in the original recipe. I just don't have that kind of time on a weeknight. Oh, and one last note - I tagged this recipe as 'vegetarian' (even though it has prosciutto) as I'm certain it would be just as delicious without the prosciutto.
*Recipe adapted from this one over on the blog Apple A Day.