Last night was a bit lame in terms of culinary creativity. It was more of a clean out the fridge kind of night.
I started off by making a tomato and bread salad with balsamic vinegar. I used the ends of the bread Jen used for garlic bread the previous night. A little mozzarella and basil would have done wonders but my absenteeism from grocery stores made me deal with what we had.
I used stuff from the freezer (pork sausage and chicken stock) and some casarecce to make a quick pasta with a little Parmagiano, some onions, garlic, and additional tomatoes. It was pretty tasty considering there was no shopping involved.
And now on to tonight . . .
Lombardi's Pizza in New York City claims to be the first pizza place in America. Whether or not that is true, their pizza is fantastic. Their pepperoni pizza, which I generally don't care for, is fantastic. They make their own sauce (naturally), fresh mozzarella, and this delicious, small, thickly-sliced pepperoni which curl up beautifully in their brick oven. Tonight's goal was to recreate a version of that pizza.
It was remarkably quick and easy to recreate. I purchased some uncured pepperoni from Primo Naturale (a division of Wellshire Farms) based out of Swedesboro, New Jersey. The mozzarella was from Lioni Mozzarella, based out of Brooklyn. The dough and sauce were both from Original Pizza. While Original Pizza is not technically local to me now, they are located six miles from my childhood home in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Therefore I consider them honorarily local.
So, as you can see, I really didn't do anything tonight. I gave up making my own pizza dough years ago as I think Original Pizza makes a great dough and it's just not worth the $0.35 savings and extra hour of time to make it myself. Half the time I buy pre-made sauce because I just don't have the time after work to throw a sauce together.
Strangely people are still shocked that I make "my own" pizza, as if it were some sort of lost art to throw dough onto a pizza stone and put it in the oven for twelve minutes.
Ever since Jen and I survived an apparent murder attempt by Papa John three years ago I have not had a single slice of American-style pizza. 90% of the pizza has been either made by me or Mario Batali -- probably the only common point to our cooking.
One thing is for sure, you won't be seeing "Big Papa" showing up to my house anytime soon.