Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Thursday Night Pizza" by Father Dominic

SORRY I HAVEN'T posted much here, since I've been writing some books that will be published in the next few months. But these are technical manuals, so I doubt that very many of you would be interested.

However, in mid-October you will be able to buy the much more interesting book Thursday Night Pizza, from Reedy Press.


The book is by Father Dominic Garramone, O.S.B., who is well-known from his popular PBS television series Breaking Bread with Father Dominic.

I took the photographs for this book, brilliantly assisted by Snup from View from the Back Pew. From the back cover:
After twenty years of testing recipes on his fellow monks, Father Dominic of public television's Breaking Bread offers a surprising variety of pizza recipes sure to please every palate.

With his customary detailed and easy-to-follow directions, Father Dom shows you how to make the perfect crust (the real key to first-rate pizza), flavorful homemade sauces, and savory toppings.  You will discover how to tell when a “Big Ol’ Batch o’ Pizza Sauce” is thick enough, the way to avoid soggy crusts, and a “magic trick” to have warm, crusty bread waiting for your breakfast the morning after pizza night.

Recipes include three different doughs, nine sauces, and dozens of pizzas like the Pesto and Prosciutto Appetizer Pizza, Muffaletta Pizza, the Denver Diner Pizza, Pizza Diavolo, and the Fig and Papaya Dessert Pizza.
Here is a recipe from the book:

Four Cheese Tomato-Top Four Cheese Tomato-Top-2

Four Cheese Tomato-Top Pizza
A blend of Italian cheeses mixed with herbs and topped with garden tomatoes— simple, beautiful, delicious.

Recommended crust: 14-oz. American style
6 oz. shredded mozzarella
4 oz. ricotta
2 oz. shredded provolone
2 oz. grated Romano
1 egg
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup fresh snipped chives or garlic chives
16 to 24 slices of plum tomato

Drain tomato slices on paper towels for about 15 minutes. Roll dough out to 12"–14" with a thicker raised edge and place on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal. In a medium-size bowl, combine cheeses with egg, nutmeg, and chives. Mix with hands until thoroughly blended. Spread cheese mixture evenly over pizza crust and arrange tomato slices on top. Bake in a preheated 500 ̊ F oven for 10–15 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown lightly. Salt and pepper lightly if desired.


—This is one of my favorite pizzas, especially when we have fresh tomatoes.The plum tomatoes are best, because they have more flesh and less juice, but other tomatoes work fine if you drain the slices on paper towels for at least 30 minutes before use. You can, of course, make this pizza without tomatoes, if you want a classic Quattro Formaggi pie—use an Italian-style crust.

—Try to get a strongly flavored, well-aged provolone, and don’t be afraid to ask the deli worker for samples. You can also experiment with other cheeses (parmesan, asiago, fontina, gorgonzola, etc.) or vary proportions. I make this pizza differently every time, depending upon what’s in the fridge and/or in the garden, and I’m never disappointed.

—If I make this pie for Thursday night haustus, I always make it last, in the hopes that leftovers will return to the kitchen, because this pizza is just about the best cold breakfast I have ever had.
Here is my photo of this pizza:


These pizzas were delicious and well-made, definitely in the Catholic tradition of fine food, being both tasty and a delight to the eye. I took several pizzas home with me, and had pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next three days.

UPDATE: The book is now available for purchase:

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