As the temperature drops in NY, and my sister Gen sends me photos of their deck buried in snow, I remember the day last summer on that deck as we fired up the pizza oven.
It was a Wednesday, a beautiful day in the country sandwiched between two spent exploring Manhattan. John, our family pizzaiolo had the dough ready, and had visited the family garden.
Fresh striped zucchini, the first ripe tomato, fragrant basil, and a sweet onion pulled from the earth still covered in dirt all appeared on the kitchen counter. We explored the fridge discovering creamy ricotta, burrata and mozzarella, fresh baby spinach, parmigiano and sliced prosciutto. We pulled out a jar of SUGO I brought from Charleston.
The onion was washed, peeled, sliced and fried in extra virgin olive oil. The tender spinach leaves were sautéed with crushed garlic. The parmigiano was grated and the mozzarella was sliced. Our palette and canvases were ready. The wood fire was heating up the outdoor oven and we were ready to begin!
John started pulling and stretching the dough. Semolina flour was sprinkled on the wooden peel preparing it for our pizza. After the dough was pulled onto the peel, the artistry began. The first pizza began with a little SUGO spread on the dough, followed by some sliced mozzarella and spinach, and topped with sliced prosciutto. After sliding it into the waiting oven, we watched as it started to puff up and brown. While John tended the oven, I prepared the next pizza. As per my sister Gen's design, this one was in bianco... no tomato. The dough was spread with ricotta and topped with the prepared spinach, mozzarella, sautéed onions and parmigiano.
By then, the first pizza was out of the oven and the second was going in. A Margherita followed with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil. It was then a free for all... adding sauce and toppings until all the dough was used.
Soon the wine was poured and we all sat down to the feast. Hot beautiful pizzas covered the table. We shared a delicious meal and made of memories as warm and comforting as our pizza!