I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

March 7, 2010

Pizza alla Marinara (p.174)

Yum. This is delicious. Also, it counts as three recipes -- Basic Pizza Dough (p. 171), Plain Tomato Sauce (p. 266), and then the pizza itself.

When I got home from work today, I immediately started on the dough, since its the most time consuming part of the recipe. To start, you combine yeast, flour, and some hot water and then leave it alone for about half an hour while the yeast does its magic. After that time is up, add more flour and salt water and it starts to resemble a very wet, sticky dough. Kneading it for another ten minutes with more flour does the trick, and it becomes elastic-y without sticking to your fingers. It's very very messy until you get to that point -- I was about elbow deep in gooey dough for a while there, and was pretty worried it wasn't going to come together. After it's at a dough-like stage, it just sits and rises for about an hour, and then you can form your pizza crusts.

During the time that the dough took to rise I worked on the tomato sauce, which is just tomatoes, garlic, and some olive oil. I think my main problem with the recipe is that I don't own a food mill, and I don't even really know what one is. After the ingredients have boiled together on the stove for a while, it's all supposed to go through a food mill to separate out the seeds and skins. The recipe warns against putting the sauce in a food processor because the seeds are very bitter and would ruin the sauce. I dumped the whole mess into a colander hoping to strain out the stuff that shouldn't go in the sauce but the remainder was way too thin to hold together on top of the pizza, and even after trying to thicken it on the stove top I knew it wasn't going to work quite right. I added some tomato paste that I had in my pantry and it became the consistency that I needed, but that definitely wasn't called for in the recipe. If you have a food mill, though, you might not have this problem at all.

Once the dough and sauce were ready I began assembling two separate pizzas. Mediterranean pizzas generally don't call for cheese -- they're primarily sauce, olive oil, garlic, oregano and whatever toppings (generally vegetables) you want to put on them. I had some leftover olives that I sliced, and, since we love cheese, put feta on one pizza and parmigiana on the other.

The pizzas only need to be baked for 5 or 6 minutes, and when they came out they smelled and looked delicious. My husband and I both decided this was one of our favorite recipes so far -- the dough is wonderful, and we're looking forward to making them again with some other more creative toppings. The feta pizza was our favorite -- it added a really nice salty kick, and was great with the olives.

Next time I make this I'll probably do the dough a day in advance so that we can eat a little earlier. Has anyone had any luck freezing pizza dough? It'd be nice to make a bunch at once and save it for when it's needed. The recipe also makes much more sauce than is needed, which is currently in my freezer waiting for our next pizza night.

tomatoes -- $13.54

Total Cost of Pizza alla Marinara: $13.54


  1. I have a post on its way about my own pizza making experience :) For my dough recipe, you can freeze for 6 months or refrigerate up to 3 days. Just wrap the ball in plastic wrap.

  2. Cool, I guess I'll just have to try freezing mine and see how it works out. I was kind of blown away by how delicious the crust was and definitely want to do it again.

  3. Here is some info from Amazon about a well-received, inexpensive food mill. They are also very handy if you make your own baby food--
    Product Details
    RSVP International Veg-3 Rotary Food Mill
    Buy new: $24.95
    6 new from $24.95
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    4.8 out of 5 stars (12)

  4. I've added a food mill to my wish list, so maybe one day!

  5. Hey Katrina!

    Love your blog. It's become a daily ritual!

    Years ago, I saw on Food Network (with Jamie Oliver) a neat trick to making pizza pies quickly. When you're making the dough, make the recipe large enough for how many prepped pizzas you can fit in your freezer. For me it is usually somewhere around 10 (maybe more if you like thin crusts).

    Then, go ahead and make all of your pies and stack them on top of each other, separating them with wax paper (2 sheets so that the pizzas are easy to separate).

    Then you want to use a large pan or wooden board (I have a old peel with no handle) that is wider than the round pies, and use it as a sturdy base for helping keep the stack flat. Shove them in the freezer, and you're good to go.

    After that, every time you're in the mood for a pizza all you have to do is take out a frozen pie, let it thaw on your counter, top it, cook it, and eat! **Don't forget to remove the wax paper before the pie thaws.

    And for sauce...
    If you're ever in a rush San Marzano tomatoes (crushed) are great to spread on the pie, instead of having to make a sauce. Add fresh/raw thinly sliced garlic cloves, some whole basil leaves, and sliced mozzarella (the REAL shit!) and you'll feel like you walking the streets of Florence. Yum!

    Keep up the great work, Katrina!!


  6. That's an awesome idea, Will! I will definitely try the pre-made frozen thing next time I'm making some dough, we'd love that! Thanks!


Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.