Today is Pi Day! March 14th (3.14) is a great day to celebrate the people of math and science who dedicate their lives to knowledge based on facts. Hooray for the truth!!
It’s also a good day to celebrate any kind of “pie” so let’s talk pizza. Most standard-size pizza recipes make BIG pizzas—too much for my husband and me since we are empty-nesters. He hates leftovers (meatloaf, again?) and I hate to waste food. Did you know that Americans waste 30 to 40% of our food? I was raised by depression-era parents, and I am just wired to hate wasting food!
I’m not alone. Many of you have told me you also want two-serving recipes so you can reduce unwanted leftovers and eliminate waste. Whether you are empty-nesters like us, or newlyweds, couples, roommates, or some other small-family configurations—we need two-person recipes.
The Solution: Gluten-Free Cooking for Two Cookbook
My new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, offers two-person recipes like this cute little Personal Pepperoni Pizza. The book focuses on foods we all love, but want to eat in small-scale versions. It publishes on April 4, and it makes a great wedding gift or Mother’s Day gift and is perfect for anyone in a small gluten-free household. The following recipe is an example of what’s in the book.
Personal Pepperoni Pizza for Two
Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
This recipe makes an 8-inch pizza, perfect for two…or one, if you’re extra hungry! The sauce makes enough for 4 pizzas; use ¼ cup for this recipe and freeze the rest for later pizzas. You can vary the toppings as you wish; perhaps a veggie pizza or just cheese only? This fabulous crust is your blank canvas to make any pizza you want. Enjoy!
PIZZA SAUCE (Makes 1 cup, enough for four 8-inch pizzas)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
CRUST FOR 8-INCH PIZZA
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup Carol’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (below)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon olive oil (plus extra for brushing on crust)
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Brown rice flour, for sprinkling
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (or more to your taste)
1/4 cup mini-pepperoni slices (or regular-size pepperoni)
 Place racks in the bottom and middle positions of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375⁰F. Grease an 8-inch circle on a 12-inch pizza pan or 9×13-inch baking sheet (nonstick gray, not black).
 Make the sauce: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and simmer, uncovered, on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Set aside.
 Make the crust: Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm milk for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat all of the remaining ingredients together with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended, about 20 seconds. The dough will be very soft.
 Place the pizza dough on the greased circle of the pan. Liberally sprinkle the dough with brown rice flour, then press into an 8-inch circle with your hands, continue to dust with flour to prevent sticking. Make the edges thicker to contain the toppings, taking care to make the dough as smooth and even as possible for the prettiest crust.
 Bake the pizza crust for 10 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Remove from the oven and brush the edges of the crust with a little olive oil. Spread ¼ cup pizza sauce on top. Arrange the pepperoni on the sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Return the pizza to the middle rack of the oven and bake until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and brush the crust lightly with olive oil (optional) for a shinier crust. Cool the pizza on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then serve hot.
Makes one 8-inch pizza
Per pizza: 810 calories; 28g protein; 42g total fat; 5g fiber; 76g carbohydrates; 84mg cholesterol; 1930mg s sodium
Carol’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 ½ cups brown rice flour
1 ½ cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour/starch
Whisk together until thoroughly blend. Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.