June 3, 2011

15-Minute Pizza and Merlot

During a recent weeknight, I wanted a quick dinner, but still with a touch of home-made. So what's easier than to throw a few ingredients on a store-bought pizza crust? I don't think I have ever made a pizza crust from scratch... I am always worried about the yeast, that it won't rise... And it's definitely not fast! But with this, I only had to figure out what I could gather from the refrigerator and the pantry as pizza toppings.

My first step is usually to mix some canned tomato paste and olive oil with dried Italian herbs as a quick pizza sauce. Hm, no tomato paste in the pantry. I did however have fresh tomatoes. I found some canned mushrooms in the pantry though. Can't compare those to fresh mushrooms whatsoever, but they would have to do. I was hoping to find canned artichokes in the pantry, but no such luck. Artichokes are my favorite weird pizza topping that you definitely cannot order from one of those take-out chains... My fridge also offered some baby spinach, an orange bell pepper, a green onion, fresh garlic, and some ham. There you have it, my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pizza.

As you can see, I put the shredded mozzarella cheese on my pizza as the last ingredient. I like it melted over all the other ingredients. Ten minutes in the oven, and dinner was ready!

As my wine pairing, I selected the 2009 Redwood Creek Merlot from California, which is very inexpensive. It has somewhat sweet aromas of dark berries and cherries, almost reminiscent of twizzlers. The taste reveals some cranberry and nice tannins, very well-balanced though. What can I say, it tastes like a well-made Merlot.

Of course it was a great pairing with the pizza. I have never had a red wine that didn't go well with pizza, really... My pizzas always have a tomato base, and in my opinion, a red wine is the natural match for the acidity of tomatoes. Final verdict: a good combination! What is your favorite or most unusual pizza topping?

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