As a Jersey girl, I've been exposed to pizza pretty much since birth.
It's mandatory finger food as a toddler, progressing into a birthday party staple, before becoming the go-to meal of teenagers and adults alike with only $5 in their pocket and/or a wicked craving for the hot, melty goodness. Pizza night is worked into just about every family schedule, and I'm pretty sure it's fed intravenously in recovery rooms and nursing homes alike.
Jersey Shore pizza is quite possibly the most crave-inducing, comforting, and satisfying creation ever made. So when I tell you that I miss pizza, it has some serious longing and heartache attached to it.
Seriously, I could write a sonnet. But I'll spare you.
So. I'm really excited that I've put together this 8SAFE pizza recipe and I hope you like it as much as I do. Or in the least, that you're able to use it as a jumping off point to modify it and make it your own. I know I for one can't wait to experiment with more combos like sausage & peppers and all veggie using the goodies from my CSA boxed share.
*Excitement aside, let's be real folks — this will not taste like Pat's, or Vesuvio's, or whatever your hometown favorite is. Because seriously — can anything compare to your fave??? No. So let's not even go there.*
But try this recipe because it may be a total game changer for you too.
It all starts with this shelf-stable pizza crust I found at Shoprite. It's reasonably priced (about $7.50 for 2 pizza crusts) and doesn't take up precious freezer space. Which — added bonus — means no forgetting to defrost anything.
I personally like my tomato sauce and pizza to lean more towards salty than sweet, so I used Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce. If you prefer a sweeter pizza, feel free to substitute with another sauce you like (just be sure it's free of gluten and the top 8 allergens to keep it 8SAFE).
I was a pepperoni kid, so for me it's all about the 'roni. And truth be told: I think the pepperoni is the reason why I don't miss the cheese (seriously!). I use this Applegate Naturals Uncured Pepperoni. Most of my local stores carry it and it tastes awesome.
I also want to mention that the directions on the pizza crust package recommend baking it at 410 degrees. But the thing is, the frozen pizza my son likes needs to cook at 425. So I adjust the temperature to 420 and cook them both at the same time and haven't had any problems. Super easy and dinner is ready in less than 20 minutes. Can't beat that!
*The following recipe can easily be made 8SAFE if you follow the original recipe and only use processed ingredients that are free of gluten & the top eight food allergens.
The 8SAFE processed ingredients I use in this recipe are: Schar Gluten free Pizza Crust; Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce, and Applegate Naturals Uncured Pepperoni.
1 Schar Gluten free pizza crust (see recipe notes above)
2-3 Tbsp tomato sauce
5 or 6 slices pepperoni
small handful of baby kale leaves or baby spinach
3 or 4 cleaned, sliced mushrooms
sprinkling of chopped kalamata olives
Preheat oven to approx. 410℉ (see recipe notes).
Beginning with the tomato sauce, layer all ingredients evenly on top of crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!
Always use safe handling practices when preparing an 8SAFE recipe:
Wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not remove allergens).
Wipe down all surfaces; use clean equipment; and
Avoid cross contamination of ingredients not called for in the recipe. Be mindful that allergens can become airborne in flour or powdered form. Preparing 8SAFE recipes before ‘regular’ recipes will help prevent cross contamination. Do not share equipment among recipes (For example: If you cook regular pasta alongside 8SAFE pasta, use a dedicated spoon for each. Do not use one spoon to stir both pots.)
Clean your grill thoroughly beforehand (or use a clean grill pan or tin foil on the grill) when preparing an 8SAFE recipe.
Dedicate individual serving utensils for each dish. Allow food sensitive guests to serve themselves first to reduce risk of cross contamination from serving utensils.
When in doubt, snap a photo of the ingredient list of any processed items you use for an 8SAFE recipe. You can then share the information with your guests to confirm that it’s safe.