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Hawaiian Pizza with Homemade Sweet Marinara

Now I know what you’re thinking. Pizza Lane? Really? I felt the same way when I was making it. I have often told my employees and friends about the good old days when I had time to make my own pizza dough. I experimented when I got back from Italy with everything from different oils and herbs in the mixture, even trying my own sauces on the pizzas. It has been a very long time since I have done so. I also never realized there are very few people that have made their own dough, or really their own sauce. So even though I do not have the pictures of the dough or the sauce I made I will make the guess that most people do not have time for the dough. So we are actually visiting the sauce. This also was not a traditional Hawaiian Pizza since my taste tester/girlfriend hates ham. Even though a pizza does not seem like a recipe one would have in their leather bound book, when I finally came up with this sauce that complimented the pineapples I had to write it down. So here is my unusual recipe for this unusual recipe blog.

Ingredients for the sauce

1 large red bell pepper

1 red onion, minced

½ cup canned pineapple, minced

½ cup canned stewed tomatoes

1 bulb garlic

1 can tomato paste

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tbsp sea salt

1/2 c of red wine, preferably a Cabernet

2oz fresh basil, minced

I guarantee the first thing you saw was canned tomatoes. I know I talk about fresh ingredients but how many of us have the time to shop the same day we cook? Or even the week we plan on cooking? If you have an issue with canned then feel free to stew your own organic tomatoes. I just cut out the time consuming process at home. First you will have to roast your garlic and peppers with is very simple. Cut off the top of garlic bulb so you can just see the garlic cloves, and pour about 1 tsp of olive oil on it. Also cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and all of the white membrane and drizzle with the oil. Bake the veggies on a sheet tray in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add in tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes until the skin begins to peel. drain the water and ice back your tomatoes until they are cold and easy to peel off the skin and remove the bitter seeds. In a non-stick skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the minced onions, pineapple, and salt over medium heat until your onions are translucent. This is the point where most recipes will tell you to transfer everything to a blender to emulsify it. We are going to take a page out of my great grandmothers hand book and smash it by hand. Place the tomatoes, fresh basil, the bell pepper after you mince it, and the roasted garlic to the pan with the sautéed onions. Use a masher and be sure that everything is nicely mashed together. When you continuously change containers and pots you are affecting the quality of the ingredients. After everything is mashed, stir in the red wine and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the flavor is perfect to your liking. Now on to making it into a pizza.

Ingredients for pizza: Serves 2-4

4oz of homemade dough (you can buy store brand dough and stretch it yourself with some flour)

1 cup canned pineapple pieces

1 grilled chicken breast, chopped

¼ julienne sliced red onion

4oz shredded mozzarella

2 pieces of sliced provolone

Here comes the fun part. If you have ever experimented with pizza dough before now is the time to have fun. I like to spin it over my head singing old Italian music (yes I know it is a Hawaiian pizza) just for the added show for myself and anyone else watching.

                                                                            Stretch it out to the size you want it, I stretched it to 8 x 12, and fold the edges up for the crust. Spread your homemade sauce over it. I like mine thin but others like a heavy sauce. Scatter your chopped chicken  on top of the sauce, and break apart the provolone cheese. After the provolone is down I like to add half of the mozzarella, place my pineapples and sliced red onions, and then add the remaining cheese. I prefer layers of flavor on my pizza than everything sliding off. In the picture you see it on a baking sheet. If you have a pizza stone heat that in the oven at 550 degrees. If not then use a perforated pan or some tin foil with small holes cut in it at 400 degrees. Both of these techniques will ensure that your crust is nice and crisp underneath. If you do the pizza stone method, cook for 7 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, or if you use the other method 12 minutes works perfectly. You have a tasty non-traditional Hawaiian Pizza with a new sauce for you to try on pasta next time. E 'ai kakou (let’s eat in the Hawaiian language)!

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