In honor of yesterday's Oscars I made my favorite award show night dinner, a very old Bon Appetit recipe they published as a suggested Academy Award night dinner back in the 90's. Ever since, I've associated this pizza with award shows. :) Of course, it's perfectly delicious anytime and it makes two pizzas so you have plenty for left overs the next day, unless of course you are making it for a party, in which case I wouldn't count on any being around afterwards. I served it with Jenny's Chocolate Molten Cakes and fresh vanilla whipped cream for dessert. If we didn't have kiddos or it wasn't a school night, I would have invited a few friends over to join us. Maybe add a salad and you would have a perfect simple, casual, entertaining menu. (I made the pizza for a girl's night several years ago.)
Jimmy and I ended up watching the whole 3+ hour show and then wondering why. It was a bit boring and we missed our sleep. I had seen quite a few of the nominated films this year, which might be a first -- Carol (didn't love it, but it was fun to see all the familiar spots in Cincinnati where it was filmed), Brooklyn (my favorite movie this year), The Big Short (I'm still not smart enough to understand shorting the housing market), Spotlight (excellent). Anyway, it was a good excuse to eat fun food.
I used to make this recipe using Pillsbury's refrigerated pizza dough which works very well, but in the years since, I've really tried to eliminate food with artificial ingredients, so I now typically use Trader Joe's fresh pizza dough. There are a couple tricks... One, oil your baking sheet with olive oil before you put the dough on. Two, let the dough sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before handling it and when you do, make sure you dust your hands lightly with flour. Try to stretch the dough out as much as possible, the thinner the better. I bake the dough for about 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees BEFORE I add toppings and finish the cooking. The dough should be cooked and golden (not brown, though mine does get darker in the middle) before you put it in the oven the second time otherwise you'll end up with soggy crust. You could also use the thin crust Boboli for this recipe. Really any crust will work so long as it is cooked before adding the toppings.
^^you start with a lot of onions and leeks. In fact, my version has a bit more than the original recipe^^
^^Here is what they look like after 40+ minutes of simmering with red wine and balsamic vinegar. Once finished cooking, you add in the prosciutto and basil. Your kitchen will smell sooo good.^^
Recipe | Two Thumbs Up Pizza
(original source, my version is slightly modified)
3 TBS olive oil
6 cups coarsely chopped red onions (about 3 medium)
5 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 4-5, white and pale green parts)
2/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup very finely chopped prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
3 TBS finely chopped basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 purchased, 10 oz fully baked pizza crusts (or use a double batch of fresh dough and bake it. I used 2 Trader Joe's Pizza doughs and baked them at 450 for about 10-12 minutes)
8 ounces Gorgonzola crumbles (when you sprinkle this over 2 pizzas it will feel like this isn't enough, but once it melts it will be just the right amount, resist the urge to add more.)
1 TBS minced fresh rosemary
Heat olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium low heat. Add onions and leeks and sauté until tender, about 20 minutes. Add wine and vinegar. Cook until almost all the liquid evaporates and the onions are brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes longer. Mix in prosciutto, basil and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 450. Place pizza crusts on 2 large, oiled, baking sheets. (Cook pizza crusts if you aren't using pre-baked versions) Spoon onion mixture evenly atop crusts, leaving a 1 inch border around edges. Sprinkle with cheese and rosemary over the onions.
Bake pizzas until cheese melts and begins to brown and crusts are crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.