Ok, today may just be too much of a good thing. Before you read any further, make sure you have eaten, because if you haven't, you might just drool all over your keyboard and short out your computer. Lisa is giving us lot of goodies today! First she's teaching us how to make Tuscan Pizza on our grills, then she's offering us all three River of Time books for a giveaway! So...I'll stop wasting your time :D
How to Make Tuscan Pizza on Your Gas Grill
By Lisa T. Bergren
We first made our own pizza in Tuscany, when we discovered our villa had a wood-fired pizza oven. We burned a couple in trying to figure it out, but we soldiered on until we got it down. It was worth it. The taste of the wood and smoke perfected the ingredients, and it was just one of many fabulous experiences and sensations that made us fall in love with Italia.
Back home in suburbia, we didn’t have a lovely wood-fired oven in the backyard, but we did have a gas grill. So while it’s not quite the same, it’s a pretty close second. After making them many, many times, we recommend you put out a nice tossed salad and chianti, and let friends and family eat the pizzas as they come in. It makes for a very relaxed, fun evening.
You can often find dough in specialty stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. But if not, here’s the recipe for the one my hubs made last (and it was fabuloso)…
The Dough (can be made a day ahead, divided, wrapped in Saran; if it rises again, don’t panic, it’ll be okay. Best idea—roll out and grill crusts before guests arrive):
Ingredients for the Sauce (can be made a day ahead—in fact, it will be better):
- One big can of crushed Cento Italian tomatoes (or whatever brand your store carries; just use good quality, ITALIAN-grown tomatoes; extra buck is worth it; find them in specialty food section of grocery store)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Oregano—we use about 3 Tablespoons
- Thyme—1 Tablespoon
- Lots of pepper
- Salt to taste
- Couple pinches of sugar (if you want)
It’s pretty common to simply have a cheese pizza in Italy, but here are the ingredients for our two favorite concoctions….
Suggested ingredients for Smoked Mozzarella/Apple Pizza, Cheese, & Sausage/Pepper Pizzas:
- Tart, pink apple (wash; slice)
- Red bell peppers (wash, discard stem/seeds and slice)
- Sweet Onions (slice; sauté 1/3 of them until carmelized for Apple pizza)
- Fresh basil (lots—see if they have the growing plant in produce section)
- Italian sausage (mild, medium or spicy, depends on the crowd); cook through
in small pieces before you put it on the pizza
- 6 strips bacon (browned and crumbled)
- Smoked mozzarella (gouda is more readily available, but it’s a bit too rich)
- Fresh mozzarella (2 logs; you slice)
- Grated mozzarella (3 bags)
- Pecorino cheese (fresh wedge; you grate)
- Parmesan cheese (fresh wedge; you grate)
- (or come up with your own favorite!)
- Make Sauce
- Roll out pizza crusts. Don’t worry about keeping it round—an irregular shape is part of the charm. You might want to do a pancake size one at first, just to get used to handling dough and see how your grill is baking it/adjust temperature.
- Transfer on edgeless cookie sheet, if possible, to grill; this is a handy tool to flip them too.
- Grill at 350 degrees or medium, until grill marks start to show on bottom (baked but not crispy—you’ll put them back on with toppers). Stay around the grill to pierce bubbles that pop up in the crust with a fork.
- Use a “floured” flat cookie sheet to bring in, flip over—grill side up—and top with sauce and other items.
- For CHEESE pizza (nice 1st course): sauce, thick layer of grated mozzarella, finer layer of parmesan and pecorino, chopped basil.
- For SAUSAGE pizza (nice 2nd course): sauce, thick layer of grated mozzarella, cooked sausage, peppers, onions, basil.
- For APPLE pizza (slightly sweet/partial dessert course): brush on olive oil and rub with half-clove of cut garlic; layer smoked mozzarella, carmelized onion, apples and crumbled bacon.
Yesterday on Gone With Words, Lisa told us how to say a bunch of useful phrases in Italian. However, she failed to tell me how to say, "That looks amazing! I want some pizza now!" Seriously, I can't wait to try this recipe. I think I'm going to go for the Apple Pizza!!
As part of The River of Time blog tour, hosted by Mundie Moms, each blog will be hosting a giveaway that will be open Internationally! Here's how the giveaways will work. If a resident from the US wins, they'll receive a signed copy of each book in the series, Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent. If a resident outside the US wins, they'll have a choice to either receive an e-book of the series OR an unsigned physical copy of each book for the series.(Your name will be visible in the Rafflecopter form. Don't leave your last name if you don't want it seen.)
Leave us a comment as well as the rest of the stops to be entered to win Lisa's giveaway for a pair of earrings from Venice! Please sure to visit Lisa's site here to find out more information about this giveaway and to enter to win.August 29: Lisa’s Favorite Scene/Quotes from WATERFALL & CASCADE (Page Turners)
August 30: Character Interview with Marcello–and surprise announcement (YA Bliss)
August 31: Ten Useful Italian Phrases In Case You Hitch a Ride w Gabi & Lia (Gone With the Words)
Sept. 1: How to Make Italian Pizza On Your Gas Grill (Reading Teen)*TORRENT’S Official Release Day!!!*
Sept. 2: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Lisa Bergren (Mundie Moms)
Sept. 3: An Itinerary for the Perfect, Dreamy Week in Tuscany (The Secret Life of a Bibliophile)
Sept. 4: Character Interview with Gabi–and semi-surprise announcement (Eve’s Fan Garden)
Sept. 5: Excerpt from a potential 4th novel (Lisa Bergern) What-What??!!