My first question when I noticed this pizza was, "Where did the name come from?"
Cooking down the tomatoes for the pizzaiola sauce
Apparently in 1189 King Umberto of Italy was making a visit to Naples; a Neapolitan baker named Raffaele Esposito made 3 different pizzas in honor of the king and his queen, Margherita. The queen's favorite showcased the colors of the new flag of Italy: green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes).
When I found out we were going to have the joy of entertaining our good friends Jesse (age 5) and his sister, Jillian (age 2) we asked their dad what they would like to have for supper. After mentioning filet mignon with cherry red wine and a cupcake (very funny, Dad!), he said that pizza was the children's favorite. Actually, Jesse and Jillian are not alone. Kids ages 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner. My first thought was to arrange to have pizza delivered or pick up some frozen pizza at the grocery store, but then I thought it would be a "wild time" (as it was,confirmed later by Jesse when describing the evening to his father) if we made pizza together.
Pizza comes from the latin root word Picea which means the blackening of crust by fire.
If you guessed that "Pizza Arrabiata" translates to "Angry Pizza", you would be correct. As you can imagine, this is a pizza with some kick to it. Onto the prebaked crust, I arranged halved grape tomatoes. The recipe in Pizza, Calzone and Focaccia called for 6 halved plum tomatoes, but I thought the larger tomato halves on the pizza might be a bit overwhelming. Besides, I love grape tomatoes! You may notice that there is no type of sauce at all called for on this pizza. That seemed strange to this American girl's sense of taste, but I must say it wasn't needed. Maxine Clark, the author of Pizza, Calzone and Focaccia advises, . . .
"keep the choice of topping as simple as you can to truly appreciate the flavors. The crust is all-important and turns soggy if it is weighed down too much. Slice meat and vegetables thinly and don't smother the base with sauce or cheese."
"Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven." Yiddish Proverb.
I'm getting ready to leave the office today and I get a panic call from Mike. " You didn't set out the crust recipe for me! Where is it?" Since I am at work on Friday afternoons and Mike is at home, our normal routine is for me to set out the bread maker, the recipe and all the ingredients for our pizza crust. Late afternoon my sweet husband will get the bread maker going so that later in the evening we can enjoy our pizza together while we watch a movie. Obviously this Friday I forgot to set out the recipe! We generally make regular pizza dough using the recipe that came with the bread maker.
Okay, I confess, I'm a foodie. I enjoy watching The Food Network (Giada is my favorite) and any blog I create is probably going to involve food. As far as food goes, pizza is a favorite for just about everyone. At least it is for my husband, Mike, and me. It is almost as important a food group as chocolate or coffee! This pizza adventure began as something fun for Mike and me to do together. Back in the beginning we used Boboli crust and did the typical canned pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella. Then we found a unique recipe using sweet and sour sauce as a base and topped with pineapple, Canadian bacon, cheese and crushed mixed nuts. That stimulated our pizza creativity and we started inventing our own masterpieces.