Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sicilian Shrimp and Tomato Pizza

If you thought a topping of artichokes on pizza was strange, this pizza really goes over the top with an even more exotic topping-shrimp! 
The recipe calls for beginning this pizza by spreading some Pizzaiola sauce onto the crust.  I had some leftover canned pizza sauce in the freezer so I thawed it and used it instead of the homemade Pizzaiola sauce.  I would encourage you to try each of them and discover which one your taste buds like better!  Over the sauce I shredded some Pecorino Romano cheese and arranged some roughly cut fresh basil; neither of which were in the recipe.  The recipe didn't call for any cheese at all; I guess I just have a hard time thinking of a pizza without any cheese so I had to add it to this pizza and was glad I did.  With the basil growing just outside my back door, I thought it would also make a great addition to this pizza and again was glad I did.  After the basil I scattered on about 3 cloves of sliced garlic and a small amount (and I mean small- maybe 1/4 of a teaspoon at most!) of red pepper flakes.  Now it was time to add the shrimp.  If at all possible raw shrimp should be used because precooked shrimp will become dry and rubbery after the additional cooking on the pizza.  If you do use precooked shrimp, try adding it for the last 3-4 minutes of the cooking time-just long enough for them to be heated.  The first time I made this pizza I used jumbo shrimp with the tails on because it looked so pretty in the recipe book.  Mike and I both decided it was a nuisance having the tails on the shrimp and that it would work better if we used smaller shrimp.  This time I used  medium raw shrimp with the tails off (about 12 ounces) that had been frozen but then thawed before I put them on the pizza and we liked it much better.  Along with the shrimp I arranged some  halved grape tomatoes and then drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil.   I didn't use the pizza oil this time because I thought the red pepper flakes had already added quite a bit of heat.  After I baked the pizza for an additional 14 minutes (I had already prebaked the crust for 8 minutes), I sprinkled on some chopped flatleaf parsley. 
Basil, grape tomatoes, garlic and flatleaf parsley
The recipe called to serve this pizza with lemon wedges so lemon juice can be squeezed onto the shrimp.  Doesn't that sound delicious?  I am sure it would have been had I remembered it!  The movie we watched while enjoying this particular pizza was Marley and Me. It has taken us forever to see Marley and Me because we were both afraid our emotions couldn't handle it. I guess the trauma of seeing Old Yeller when I was  a little girl has left permanent scars!  Animal stories always seem to have a way of tugging at my emotional heart strings.  I remember reading The Incredible Journey to my children when they were little and not being able to make it through without breaking into tears.  As I was weeping, my children were looking up into my face like I was some strange alien from another planet.  Mike and I did shed some tears at this story of a mischievous but lovable dog, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston also are not my favorites, but they were excellent in this movie and we had a very enjoyable evening.

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