Pizza is at the top of my list of favorite comfort foods and I’m quite confident the majority of people with agree with me on that! Just close your eyes and imagine biting into a slice of pizza hot out of the oven that’s topped with perfectly seasoned sauce, melty cheese, your favorite toppings and your choice of crust, crispy or doughy. Nothing quite like it, right? My mouth is watering already! Did you know these fun facts about pizza, courtesy of Pizza.com? Pepperoni is the most popular topping requested on 36% of all pizza orders, or “roni” as my grandson Liam calls it! Ninety four percent of all Americans eat pizza, definitely a majority! The top 5 days that pizza is ordered, which all make perfect sense to me, are Super Bowl Sunday, the night before Thanksgiving (you can include me in that number!), Halloween, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Over 5 billion pizzas are sold throughout the world each year! And in my research I also discovered that if you’re looking to feed a crowd you can order the largest pizza commercially available from Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria in Los Angeles, California, measuring in at 4 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 6 inches for just $199.99! What a deal! This year five Italian chefs baked the world’s largest round pizza measuring in at 131 feet in diameter! Octavis, as the pizza was lovingly named to honor the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus, was made up of 19,800 pounds of flour, 10,000 pounds of tomato sauce, 8,800 pounds of mozzarella cheese, 1,488 pounds of margarine (I would have used butter myself, much more delicious than margarine!) and 551 pounds of rock salt. Ok, I’m babbling on and on, which I have a tendency of doing, but I just love love love pizza! The word “pizza” originates from the latin root word Picea meaning “blackening of crust by fire”. Which finally brings me to today’s recipe! I especially crave pizza that’s grilled in the summer because the “blackening of crust by fire” from the grill adds an amazing depth of flavor to the pizza. So get ready, you’re going to love Grilled Pizza Italiano!
Grilled Pizza Italiano
1 pkg. (14 oz.) Boboli prepared pizza crust
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 plum tomatoes. sliced crosswise, 8 oz.
1 pkg. (8 oz.) fresh mozzarella with prosciutto, sliced crosswise
fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat grill for direct-heat grilling.
2. Brush top of pizza crust with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Place, oiled side down, on grill. Grill until hot and just beginning to blacken, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, brush remaining olive oil on pizza crust that is facing up (this will be the bottom of your pizza once you turn it).
3. Turn pizza crust so top of pizza is now facing up. Top with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, tomato slices and mozzarella prosciutto slices.
4. Grill until pizza is heated through and cheeses are melty.
5. Remove from grill. Top with fresh basil leaves.
Makes 6 servings.