If I were to compete on Iron Chef America, there’s only one person who I would ask to come and help me out as sous chef and her name is Sonia Meyer (that’s her and I in the below pic). She and I are simply on the same cooking wave length. And although we disagree on some things, she hates to set a timer and I’m addicted to my kitchen timer, we basically agree on everything else. We’ve been friends for almost forever, 18 years I think, and grew up in the same neighborhood. Our background gave us the same cooking style: we always use fresh, seasonal, local ingredients to make easy and delicious dishes. Sonia and I also both refer to the Barefoot Contessa as Ina, as if she were one of our friends, and we both love pizza.
Sonia taught me everything I know about making pizza. You see, she worked at Papa Murphy’s take ‘n’ bake in Petaluma during high school. Thus, she knows how to handle dough and can come up with some mean pizza topping combinations.
Recently she shared her pizza making suggestions with another friend. She was reading me the email and I asked her if I could share her recommendations with you. Since she’s the best, she naturally, said yes. Below is Sonia’s advice in her own words.
So flattered you asked me about my specialty, pizza! I don’t really have an “recipes” just some tips and fav combos:
- If you can, use Trader Joe’s dough. They have wheat, herb, and plain — all are good.
- Leave the dough out on a floured board to come to room temperature before you start to assemble the pizza. About 10-20 minutes is good.
- Preheat your oven to as high at it goes.
- Stretch the dough out as far as you can without breaking it on a baking/cookie sheet. If it breaks, just rip a piece off from somewhere else and patch it up, no big deal, no one will know.
- For super crispy crust, pre-bake the rolled out dough for 3-5 minutes.
- Use store bought pizza sauce OR make your own with a can of crushed tomatoes, garlic and oregano. Pesto works as well.
- Choose a sauce, choose a cheese, choose a meat, and choose a veggie.
Add your toppings: here are three of my favorite combinations, but honestly you can use anything you want!
- Sausage and broccoli rabe/rapini with chili flakes, if you like it spicy!
- Pesto, goat cheese, prosciutto (optional, if you want veggie) artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and garlic.
- Fig jam if you can find it, goat cheese, arugula, prosciutto, and pears. This is a new fav and is REALLY good!