Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pillsbury Pizza Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!

My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Italy, and fell in love with the wonderful flavors of Italian cuisine. For many of our lunches there, we would have pizza. It was always inexpensive, fast, and delicious. Although I could never make pizza as well as the Italians, I feel like the dinner I cooked tonight was at least a good attempt from this Texas girl.

Tonight I tried out "Quick Pizza Margherita," another new recipe from my Cooking Light Complete Cookbook (thanks, Becca!). Josh and I loved this recipe, and it was very easy, so if you don't consider yourself much of a cook, give this one a try! It was full of fruity, delicious flavor from the balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and basil. And, of course, fresh mozzarella is always wonderful! Like the previous recipe, I tweaked a few things to suit my personal preference. The recipe calls for thinly sliced plum tomatoes, but I used sliced cherry tomatoes instead. I like the sweet, rich flavor of cherry tomatoes. I also like the fact that they are smaller, especially when eating pizza. It's a pet peeve of mine to bite into a tomato on a pizza and pull the entire thing off in one bite. So, the bite size slices of cherry tomatoes made a good alternative (although, I am not sure how the Italians would feel about that). The recipe also called for shredded fresh mozzarella, but I sliced the fresh mozzarella instead (this I think the Italians would be proud of). If you have not had fresh mozzarella before, you should definitely try it. It is much better than the shredded stuff you find on most American pizzas. Two of my favorite foods in Italy were fresh mozzarella, and prosciutto (I will have to share more about prosciutto at a later date). To find it fresh you will usually have to look with the specialty cheeses at your grocery store. It is much more expensive, and can be harder to find, but it is well worth it!

I also added fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (but not too much, since we are attempting to be healthier). The serving size of 2 slices was great for us, but we had eaten a big Sunday lunch, so if you want more of a meal, you may want to include a salad with the pizza. This makes a great dinner with plenty of good leftovers. It would also make a great appetizer for parties if you cut it into smaller slices.

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