The humble anchovy doesn't get a lot of respect in the world of pizza (or anywhere else), but I love that tiny salty fish. However, I rarely order pizza with anchovies, because I don't know what kind they've got, how fresh the jar or can is, and frankly, if I'm going to eat anchovies I want them cooked by somebody that actually likes them.
Julia has been bugging me to make homemade pizza, and our friends Brett and Lynn gave me a pizza stone last year. I've been slow to use it and decided to do a practice pie tonight using a few ingredients I knew Julia would not enjoy.
The sauce is a can of imported San Marzano tomatoes cooked down with three cloves of garlic, half a glass of Zinfandel, and a handful of dried mushrooms. All cooked down until thick and then blended with a stick blender.
The toppings are sliced fresh mozzarella, roasted yellow cherry tomatoes, oil-packed anchovy fillets, all baked to perfection, then graced with a dash of chopped fresh basil and grated Grana Padano cheese.
I'm a little out of practice when it comes to homemade pizza, and it's really too hot to be playing this game today, but I look forward to rebuilding my skills for a future dinner party, with lots of individually designed pizzas for each guest.