I have two favorite things about living in New Jersey. First is having the luxury of living in the secluded countryside while only being a short train ride away from one of the world’s biggest and greatest cities. And second, is pizza. Good classic Italian pizza (and all other Italian deliciousness you find everywhere).
I rarely make pizza at home because we are surrounded by so many wonderful restaurants with those blazing brick ovens. The ones that cook your pizza to a crispy, flavorful perfection within seconds. But sometimes in the summer, when grilling season is upon us, I love to put on my sweats, grab a glass of wine and put a cheesy pizza over the coals. It’s the next best thing to the brick oven kind.
And if you’re like me, you’ll seek out your favorite pizza shop and buy the dough already made for only a couple of dollars. More time to sit back, relax and soak up these sweet summer nights.
Three Cheese Grilled Pizza
This is more of the method opposed to a recipe. Use whatever toppings you like. For the three cheese pizza I used Shredded Provolone, Fresh Mozzarella and Shaved Parm, and it was superb.
- Prepared pizza dough
- Tomato sauce, recipe below
- Olive oil
- Toppings (I used shredded provolone, fresh mozzarella and topped with parmesan and basil, but you can use whatever you’d like!)
(This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so if you’re only making one pizza, freeze the rest of it in individual ziplock bags to reuse in the future.)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
Heat a saucepan to medium and add garlic, oil, red pepper and salt. Continue to saute for just about a minute. Add tomato paste, oregano and basil and cook for a minute longer. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then adjust seasonings according to taste.
For the Grilled Pizza
Roll out dough on floured surface. I like a thin crust, but don’t roll it out too thin or else it will burn quickly on the grill. Once your dough is rolled out heat the grill to med/high and have your sauce and toppings ready to go.
Place the floured dough on a pizza peel (or back of a cookie sheet) and slide the dough onto the grill. It should only take a few minutes, but check frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn. You want it to have a nice browned bottom. Once the bottom is browned remove from the grill with a spatula and pizza peel.
With the grilled side up, brush with olive oil and then add your sauce (a very thin layer of sauce is all you need). Add the rest of your toppings beginning with the cheese. Place the pizza back on the grill and cook covered until the bottom begins to brown and the cheese melts.
Finish with fresh basil if desired.
UPDATE: If you are using the back of a cookie sheet or other surface, instead of a pizza peel which is made specifically for handling pizza dough, make sure you dust it with plenty of flour to ensure your dough does not stick to the surface when trying to transfer. Or, it may just have to be a two person job!