PIZZA! Allergen-free style

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I love pizza. Unfortunately, it’s almost one of the worst foods I could possibly eat. Well, a corn, tomato and cheese salad would be worse, and if you could incorporate chocolate into that it would be even more horrible. But a chocolate, corn, tomato and cheese dish sounds … odd. And unappetizing. But if you have any such recipes or meal suggestions, let me know!

But I love pizza. There’s nothing quite like pizza straight out of the oven with crispy pepperoni and gooey cheese … except for this recipe!

A couple weeks ago, I was craving pizza. I found dairy-free mozzarella cheese at my local Whole Foods. And while I can make pizza dough, I didn’t have a lot of time to do so (or really, equipment or ingredients to make it easily possible), so I stopped by my Trader Joe’s and bought some of their pre-made pizza dough. They sell three different versions of their dough – original, whole wheat, and garlic and herb. Obviously, I got the garlic and herb. While at Trader Joe’s, I also picked up some pepperoni.

I had my tomato-free spaghetti sauce tucked away in the freezer, portioned into half-cup servings, so I pulled some out and defrosted it.

Without further ado, the recipe!

Dairy-free, tomato-free pizza

1 bag Trader Joe’s pre-made pizza dough (I bought their garlic and herb dough)
1 cup tomato-free spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella Teese* (I probably used about 3 ounces)
Romano cheese
1 t garlic
Flour
Oil
Toppings

*Note: Teese is very soft and sticks to itself well. DO NOT grate the cheese until you’re ready to put it on the pizza. The best way to do it to just grate the cheese over the pizza itself.

As directions on the bag of pizza dough instruct, put dough on counter for it to sit for 20 minutes. While your dough is warming up, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare your toppings. I used pepperoni, chicken and asparagus, but use whatever you want! Saute asparagus in a small frying pan until it’s crisp-tender. It will finish cooking in the oven. Remove asparagus from the pan and add pepperoni. This cooks off some of the grease, so your pizza isn’t swimming in the grease. After your pepperoni is slightly rendered, just so the edges are beginning to curl, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate.

Use paper towels to sop up the majority of the grease from the pan until one tablespoon remains. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, then add your sauce. Heat sauce until bubbling, then remove from heat.

Prepare your pan. I didn’t have a pizza pan, so I used a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Lightly oil the pan, or else you’ll have your pizza crust absolutely glued to it and need to invest in a chisel to get your dinner out.

By this time, your dough should be warmed up enough. Cut the bag open and dust both sides with flour. Shape the dough (either by working on the counter or in the air) to the size of your pan. In my case, I shaped it into a huge rectangle to fit my baking dish.

Schlep your dough into the pan, top with the sauce and then the cheese. Grate your cheese directly over the pizza. Yes, Teese is very soft, and it can be difficult to grate. No, don’t try to grate it beforehand. It will just re-stick together and be impossible to sprinkle evenly over your pie.

Add your toppings and put the pizza into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle Romano cheese over the top. Continue baking until the Teese is melty, pepperoni crisp and crust golden-brown.

Let your pizza cool for a couple minutes before cutting it.

If you have leftover pizza (as I did), the best way to reheat it is to slide a piece into a toaster oven. The cheese re-melts and the crust crisps right back up!

I loved this pizza recipe so much that I ate it for five meals in a row. The first pizza didn’t last that long, so I made another one the next day.

(updated July 1, 2014, to add embedded Tweet)

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