It's a lot of juggling when you run your own business and your household at the same time. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband who helps me a lot. Lately though he's been working late on an important project so that means the evening routine is all me. Evening routine consists of me leaving the tea house between 5:30pm and 6:30pm to pick up the kids from school. It makes for a long day for the kids but the after school program is fun and they get to play with their friends, Max espcially he spends the afternoon with his two very best friends. Anyway, I bike over to the school and pick up the kids. If I get them early around 5:30pm we usually head to the park and play for 30-45 minutes before heading home. Tonight, it was raining so we came straight home. The kids had time to destroy play in their room while I prepared dinner. Tonight's dinner was homemade pizza or as my kids afffectionately call "Jenny's Pizza". We had this pizza for the first while visiting our friends, Jenny & Olivier in Normandy this summer. Lucky for me, she is the one who taught me how to make bagels too. :) Tonight's pizza was thrown together with ingredients I had left over from last week's market run.
I didn't make my own crust. Remember this is an easy dinner so I use a premade pizza crust or pate à pizza. Herta is a really good brand. I like their pie crusts and their pizza crust is very tasty. I don't have a circular pan for circular crust so I buy their thick cut rectangular crust. I start by cooking the bacon bits or lardons. While the bacon is cooking I unroll the crusts onto cookie sheets. You don't need to grease your pans the crust comes rolled in parchement paper that you just unroll onto the cookie sheet. Easy! I let the crust sit while I prepare the fixins for the pizza. At this time I start to make the pizza sauce. This is probably the most labor intensive part of making the pizza. I cut half an onion and press two cloves of garlic and sauté it all together in olive oil until the onions are slightly translucent. Really hard work that smells awesome and at this point the kids always run to the kitchen and tell me over and over again how hungry they are. Your house will smell like bacon, onions and garlic. Three of my favorite smells.
Once the onions are translucent you will add the tomato sauce or coulis de tomates I really like the Panzani brand. It's really tasty and saves you time instead of reducing tomatoes down to make your own sauce. For two pizza you probably need 1/4 of a bottle. I used half a bottle because I make tomato sauce for another dinner later on this weekend. You let the coulis de tomates simmer with the onions, garlic and olive oil until it starts to reduce down. You will notice that it will get thicker and slightly lumpy. Season as you like. I use Knorr Secret d'arome which is a pretty handy mix of salt, pepper and herbs that taste lovely when mixed with tomato sauce. Again, remember this is easy tomato sauce. Easy is the name of the game here. I let it simmer for little while longer. Meanwhile, the bacon is probably done. I've been cooking for probably 15 minutes now. I turn off the heat off from the tomato sauce and remove the bacon from the burner. At this time I pre-heat the oven to 220° C.
Tonight I wanted to make cheezy crust with the pizza so I sprinkled a nice helping of gruyère on the crusts of the pizza. Then you spread the tomato sauce onto the crust. The key here is to only put enough on to thinly coat the crust. Two heaping soup spoons of sauce is enough. If you put too much sauce on there the pizza crust won't cook through in the middle. Then you add your fixins. Tonight I had on hand raw spinach and yellow tomatoes. I had left over grated mozzerella and I sprinkled that all over the place. Again, don't go too crazy on the cheese or else the middle of the pizza won't bake all the way through. Once done your pizza will look like this:
Bake the pizza for 13-15 minutes. My kitchen started to smell heavenly about five minutes in and the kids were back in the kitchen again asking when dinner was ready.
I think I baked my pizza about one minute too long but it still came out really well:
Check out that crust! It was amazing. Next time I will add more spinach! I wans't sure what the spinach was going to do in the oven as I had never baked spinach like this before. It baked beautifully and while I was eating dinner tonight I wished I had more spinach on the pizza. Alixe wasn't too keen on the spinach but Maximilien told me he wanted more spinach next time.
During the school week the kids need to be in bed by 8pm or else they are a wreck in the morning. Dinner needs to be done by 7:30pm so that we have enough time to brush our teeth, read a book or two and go to bed. Getting the kids to bed by 8pm leaves me the evening to finish tea house work or blog and watch a movie which is what I'm doing tonight. Yes!
If you live in France it will be easy for your find all ingredients at your local supermarket. What kind of easy pizza will you make?