Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Favorite Home Made Pizza

Chicken Alfredo Pizza


1 portion of pizza dough
1/2 cup of light Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped cooked smoked bacon(or Pancetta)
1/4 cup crumbled cooked Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped white onions
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup Mozzarella cheese


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

After working the pizza dough into the desired shape and size, spread Alfredo sauce evenly over the surface. Then sprinkle each of the toppings evenly; onions, chicken, sausage, bacon then cheese. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with Italian seasonings.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is a light golden brown.

mmmm, Bon Appetit!

Easy Pizza dough

This is one I love because, a) I can make my own pizza anytime, b) put anything I want on it and c) it is fairly inexpensive (depending on your toppings).


1 package of dry yeast (or 1/2 tsp active yeast from a jar)
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups All purpose or Whole wheat Flour


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in remaining mixture and beat vigorously(about 20 minutes). Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes. (the longer you let the dough sit, the more it will rise, and the lighter and flakier your pizza crust will be.)

Remove cover and divide dough into 2 equal halves.

On a flour covered surface, work each piece of dough into 10-11 inch rounds (or squares, or decide, have fun with your kids and use a cookie cutter or a knife to make smaller individual pizzas.)

Spread your chosen sauce over the surface evenly, then cover with all your favorite toppings. Cover with  about 1 cup of Mozzarella(or your favorite cheese.) Plain tomato sauce works best, with 1 Tbsp Italian seasonings sprinkled over the surface of the sauce.

Place in oven on middle rack (you can use or don't use a cookie sheet; without makes crispier crust) and bake 12-15 minutes or until crust s a light golden brown


You can cook the dough by itself, to make a pre-made pizza dough for cold ingredients like a Pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce, or an avocado based sauce for a totally healthy California Pizza Kitchen style pizza. If you are only baking the dough, with no other ingredients, cut the baking time down to 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna w/spinach


2 lb. cooked shredded Chicken (seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste)
2 links Chicken Italian sausage ( I get mine at Central market for now)
1 bunch fresh leaf Spinach-blanched
2-8 oz  boxes Lasagna noodles
1-8 oz container Ricotta cheese
4 cups fresh grated Mozzarella cheese
3 cups (24 oz) Light Alfredo Sauce


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
Spray a deep(4") baking pan with Pam on all sides and bottom. After boiling Lasagna noodles to al dente, cover bottom of pan with noodles, slightly over lapping them. On the first layer of noodles spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, then place blanched spinach leaves generously to form a good layer. Next layer of noodles, again slightly overlapping cover with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, then a generous portion of chicken and lastly, drizzle some alfedo sauce over entire layer. Next layer of noodles, cover with a thin layer of Ricotta cheese, a layer of spinach leaves, then a good portion of Italian sausage evenly spread out. Repeat each layer making sure you ration all ingredients for at least six layers, plus a top layer with chick, sausage, alfredo sauce and mozzarella to cover it all. 
Place in the oven and bake for 110-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browning.


Blanching is just a cool way of saying to quickly cook something with boiling water.  I use a hand strainer to place and withdraw the spinach from the boiling water. Spinach is very delicate, and in order for it to retain some of its structure to be handled for this dish, the 'dip' in the boiling water must be quick, no more than 5 seconds, then immediately into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process.

Good luck, and Bon Appetit!

Baked Alfredo with Shrimp, Chicken and Pancetta

This is my version of one of only two dishes I eat when I go to Macaroni Grill, Pasta Rustica.  i add the sun dried tomatoes and fresh chopped Basil not only for additional color but also additional flavor.


1/2 lb cooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 cup cooked and drained Pancetta(or thick cut smoked bacon)
1/2 lb cubed sautéed boneless chicken breast (sautéed with a dash of salt and pepper, and 1clove minced garlic)
2 1/2 cups uncooked Penne pasta
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz. Light Alfredo sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped Basil


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a 5 qt sauce pan bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add Penne paste and continue to boil until pasta is al dente.
Remove from heat and drain.
In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, shrimp, chicken, Pancetta(or bacon), fresh ground pepper and Light Alfredo sauce and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour mixture in to a Pam sprayed baking dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Light Alfredo Sauce


1/2 tsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sn dried tomatoes
3 Tbsp chopped Basil


In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the minced garlic cloves,sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil and cook for a minute.
In a bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups of fat free milk with 2 tablespoons of flour. Make sure the flour is mixed into the milk well.

Add the milk/flour mixture to the sauce pan with the butter, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Cook over medium high heat until it just starts to boil. Stirring or whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan to the sauce pan and stir it into the milk.
Lower the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.
Makes about 12 oz.