When I first moved to New Jersey, I realized I had never been properly introduced to the phenomenon of vodka sauce. Thankfully, it wasn't long before my boyfriend's brother whipped up homemade, decadent penne alla vodka. A few years later, my boyfriend and I will treat ourselves to the dish every so often. There's no question why it's so beloved in his family and so many others. I mean, what could be better than combining booze with heavy cream and tomatoes to serve on top of perfectly al dente pasta ...?
I'll tell you what! PIZZA made with homemade vodka sauce. Oh yeeeah. Welcome to pizza heaven.
Pizza alla Vodka, adapted from Food.com
1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Lightly oil a (preferably round) baking sheet.
2. To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add in the garlic; cook 30 seconds or until lightly golden.
3. Add in the vodka, let simmer for about a minute until the alcohol evaporates.
4. Add in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and salt to taste. Let simmer 10 minutes.
5. Add in the cream and peas; cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes; let cool.
6. Place 1 ball of dough on a floured surface; holding you hands flat, pat the ball out evenly with your fingers, lifting it and turning it over several times, until it reaches a 12-inch circle (don't knead the dough or handle it any more than is necessary; if the dough seems sticky, dust it lightly with flour).
7. Carefully transfer the dough to the baking sheet and stretch to meet the edges.
8. Top the dough with the sauce, spreading it to within 1/2 inch of the edge with the back of a spoon. Then, layer with the mozzarella, mushrooms, and a sprinkling of pecorino.
9. Bake the pizza 6-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned; just before serving, sprinkle with the prosciutto and basil.
Image via viZZZual.com/Flickr