Pepperoni and Basil Pizza

I’ve touched a little on gluten-free pizza crusts in this post, but I thought it was time to explain how I make pizza at home.

This recipe uses an Against the Grain 12″ pizza shell, which has an impressively simple ingredients list: tapioca starch, milk, eggs, canola oil, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese. Simply put, if you allow dairy in your diet, this pizza crust is close enough to the real thing that you can easily ward off pizza cravings without any lingering guilt.

I also prefer to use 8oz blocks of fresh mozzarella cheese for practical reasons. I’ve found that using bags of shredded cheese never seems to work out for me, because I end up with too much or not enough cheese. Cutting fresh mozzarella is easy and takes all of the guesswork out of this simple dish. Plus, natural and fresh mozzarella is a lot easier to find than good shredded cheese anyway.

You’ll Need:
1 Against the Grain 12″ pizza shell (found in many organic/health food stores)
6-8oz pizza sauce (instructions below)
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
25-30 pepperoni slices (nitrate free if possible)
6-8 fresh basil leaves

For the Sauce:
1 6oz can tomato paste
3oz water (1/2 the empty tomato paste can)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp italian seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano)

Making pizza sauce is easy. Heat the olive oil on med heat in a small saucepan, and add the garlic. Saute for a minute or two until aromatic. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding water as needed to get a smooth and slightly thick sauce. If you want, you can make it in bigger batches and store it in a jar for about a week.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. With a spoon, ladle and spread the tomato sauce over the frozen pizza shell. Slice the fresh parmesan cheese and place it over the sauce, and then place the pepperoni on top of the cheese. Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and the crust is starting to crisp. Next, set the oven to broil for about two minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown (but not burn) and the pepperoni starts to curl under the heat.

Let the pizza rest for about five minutes, then cover it with the basil leaves, slice and serve immediately.

5 thoughts on “Pepperoni and Basil Pizza

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