I have never, never, never been one to fear making a mess--whether from early childhood mud pit excavations or college art school experiments or full-scale kitchen assaults (how else are you ever going to perfect the art of the souffle?). But cleaning up said mess afterward, welllllll, that’s where things get a little tricky. I’ve sidestepped many a sinkful of dirty dishes, I’ve begged, cajoled and otherwise convinced my loved ones to do the dirty work for me. Baked-on olive oil and tomato sauce? Yeah, I have to admit, that is a mess that I truly fear.
So, when challenged by my friends at method to come up with something worthy of their #fearnomess campaign, I knew I was going to go for it in a big way. I was going to make a great big, mean, glorious, magnificent mess, and then I was going to CLEAN IT ALL UP with the help of some delicious-smelling dish soap by the good folks at method. Friends, welcome to the tomato sauce-smeared pizza party.
Fearing no mess and clutching my trusty, battered wooden spoon, I launched into an explosion of tomato sauce, powdery drifts of flour, basil stems and cracked eggshells...aka pizza night. There’s something so enticing about filling the kitchen with the wonderful aroma of dinner, the way it promises the rich, garlic-steeped tomato sauce, golden dough and heavenly clouds of basil aroma that are yet to come. This particular pizza recipe is a favorite of mine because not only does it come together relatively quickly, but it’s a gluten-free dough (you would never suspect it!) that’s safe for even my hardest-core grain-free friends to enjoy. It is, however, the Recipe That Makes One Thousand Messy Dishes, so it’s wise to keep some dish soap on standby...you’re going to need it once you’ve dirtied up the bowls, the saucepan, the cutting board, the pizza pan, the chef’s knife, and the myriad of wooden spoons (and possibly even the entire kitchen counter). It’s all right, you’ve got this. Serenity, baby.
Once those heavenly kitchen scents are in the air, I'm always reluctant to cover them up with the smell of average soaps and cleaners. Luckily, method agrees with me on this count--"clean should smell like cucumbers, not chemicals" is a motto I can get behind. In this case, clean smells like lime + sea salt, a wonderful combination of aromas with a tart edge to it that's a little bit savory. Filling a bowl with sudsy water for a pre-soak to throw dirty knives and spoons in while I cooked, and then a sinkful to clean up the larger pots and pans, I was suddenly reminded that even cleaning dishes can be an act of self-care. I know, it doesn't seem like the most relaxing thing on the surface, but there is something to be said for immersing yourself to the elbows in wonderfully scented, warm soapy water. It's almost spa-like (except for the scrubbing!), and I'll take my spa experiences where I can get them! With the lovely scent of lime and sea salt filling the air around me, I was done with the dishes in no time at all. WIN.
Makes enough for four 10” pizzas
½ cup diced white onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
14 oz can tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
Pinch of salt & sugar, to taste
Place onions in a deep skillet with olive oil, saute over medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Add tomato sauce, oregano and garlic, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste & add a hefty pinch of salt and sugar, as needed. Remove sauce from heat and let cool.
Makes enough for two 10” pizzas
1 ½ cups tapioca starch
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ tsp (or just a hefty pinch) freshly ground black pepper
This recipe is an adaptation of one I found on a blog and have been using forever....it's basically grain-free magic! A beaten egg and a hefty handful of parmesan take the place of both yeast and gluten, allowing the dough to puff slightly and keep its delicious elasticity just like a classic pizza base. Click here to see the original version.
Place tapioca starch in a large mixing bowl, set aside. In a saucepan, combine milk, butter and salt and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the heated mixture directly into the tapioca starch and stir quickly--it’s going to clump A LOT, you’re going to panic and think you’ve done something wrong, but you haven’t. Just keep stirring until it all looks very dry and crumbly, then walk away and let it cool for five minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and line two pizza pans or baking sheets with parchment paper. Add beaten egg to crumbly dough mixture, stir until fully incorporated. Add parmesan, garlic powder and pepper, stir to combine. Turn dough out onto a cutting board or clean countertop and knead for a minute or two until the mixture becomes smooth, elastic and dough-like. Divide into two even balls, and roll each one out into a circle about ⅛” thick. Place one on each parchment-lined pan, poke a few holes with the tip of a knife and then bake each for six minutes until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and top with sauce, cheese, and any desired toppings. Two of my favorite combinations made here are a classic margherita with mozzarella and fresh basil (basil should be added after baking), as well as a ham, red onion, mozzarella and arugula (again, all greens go on after baking) concoction. Place back in oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and just barely browned. Cooking times will vary slightly depending on the toppings, so stick close and keep an eye on the pies.
This post was sponsored by method which is--that whole 'sponsored partnership' thing aside--a brand I already love (I'm as hooked on their ethical and socially responsible ways as I am on their unique scents). As always, you can count on all opinions to be 100% honest and my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with Sweet Laurel.