Cooking with Claire: Romance in the kitchen

This recipe allows you to get your hands dirty and learn about your partner’s likes and dislikes. Skip Blaze, stay in and make your own personal pizzas.(Extra Medium/Flickr Creative Commons)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Lucky for me, my usual column falls on the most romantic day of the year. I wanted to think of a fun, easy and cute recipe to make with your significant other this evening. Cooking together can be a fun bonding experience. This recipe allows you to get your hands dirty and learn about your partner’s likes and dislikes. Skip Blaze, stay in and make your own personal pizzas.

Ingredients:

One pound store-bought pizza dough
One-half to one cup tomato sauce
One to two cups (eight to 16 ounces) cheese: shredded or sliced mozzarella, monterey jack, provolone, fontina or any other favorite.
Two to three cups other toppings: sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, diced peppers, veggies or any other favorite toppings.

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 550°F or higher: Don't be afraid to really crank the heat up to its highest setting. The high heat will help make a crunchier and more flavorful crust. Let the oven heat for at least half an hour before baking your pizzas.

2. Divide the dough in half: One pound of dough makes two 10-inch pizzas. Slice the dough in half and cover one half with an upside-down bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the first pizza.

3. Roll out the dough: Brush a thin film of olive oil on a baking sheet. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the baking sheet. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is one-quarter inch thick or less. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for five minutes and then continue rolling.

4. Top the pizza: Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Pile on all of your toppings.

5. Bake the pizza: Cook for five minutes, then rotate the pizza. Bake for another three to five minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks toasty.

6. Slice and serve: Let the pizza cool slightly on a cooling rack, just until you're able to handle it. Slice into pieces and serve.

This recipe, adapted from thekitchn.com, is a piece of pie and can be customized to fit your liking. Be extra cheesy and form heart shaped pizzas, or decorate your toppings into a smiley face. I’m already swooning.

Save a few bucks while making these pizzas and cuddling up to the new additions on Netflix. A perfect Valentine’s Day date night complete.


Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.