This week Cindy and I got our families together for a pizza party as a kind of ‘test run’ for Super Bowl Sunday entertaining. With five kids and snow still on the ground, it was truly family-style cooking and dining.
We took a cue from the recipes featured in Pizza Party from the Barefoot Contessa Parties! cook book…Caesar Salad with Pancetta, California Pizzas, and Ice Cream Sodas. We also made White Pizza with Arugula from the Back to Basics cook book. Cindy’s husband, Brad, even came up with his own concoction for a jalapeño pizza.
Since we were cooking (and eating) with the kids, we tweaked the recipes as needed, left out some of Ina’s suggested toppings, and made some of our own key additions (jalapeños, for one). However, I’ve included links to the full recipes (above), should you want to follow Ina’s process step-by-step.
Cindy eats gluten-free, and hadn't had pizza in almost two years (GASP!). We broke the ‘no pizza’ streak and made gluten-free pizza dough. We just substituted cup for cup gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour. The gluten-free dough was a bit harder to roll out, but we added a little olive oil and it became much easier. The result was amazing, so good!
In my opinion Ina’s dough recipe and garlic oil are perfect and should not be tweaked (beyond the gluten-free flour thing).
Really, once you have the dough, you can be as adventurous (or cautious) as you’d like with your toppings. We made a few white pizzas as well as one with mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Our kids made some of their own ‘traditional’ pizzas with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.
In the salad we used Cardini’s Caesar Dressing, rather than make our own (simply as a time saver), but I do recommend trying Ina’s recipe. Cardini’s is very, very good and easy to find, but fresh Caesar dressing is one of my favorites.
The ice cream sodas were perfection. And a great motivator for our children to be patient during pizza and salad prep! I recommend chocolate syrup with chocolate ice cream. Yum.
We had a great time hanging out, cooking, and eating together (and drinking wine). Now that I'm in pizza mode, we may be having a few weeknight family pizza parties as well.
Below are links to the complete Ina Garten recipes: