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'New Haven' pizza is quick and easy dinner



Published: Wed, August 31, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



By BILL DALEY

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

This combo of pesto, artichoke and toasted pine nuts is based on the "Pete's A Pie" pizza served at Randy's Wooster Street, a small chain of pizza shops in Connecticut. This pie epitomizes what I call the New Haven "school" of pizzamaking: superthin pies sparingly adorned with flavorful ingredients, then baked to an appealing crispness at superhigh temperatures in wood- or coal-fired ovens. Your home oven won't get the crust quite as crisp but the pizza will still be delicious.

TIPS:

A variety of ready-made pizza doughs or crusts are available at supermarkets.

A good commercial pesto works great here, but make your own if you have plenty of fresh basil on hand.

Pizzas invite experimentation. Use whatever you have in the larder for toppings: pitted oil-cured olives, anchovies, roasted red peppers, stewed tomatoes.

BEVERAGE SUGGESTION:

A smooth California chardonnay enhances the plushness of the marinated artichokes. A lemon cola works too.

MENU:

Artichoke and pesto pizza

Tomato salad

Lemon sorbet

ARTICHOKE AND PESTO PIZZA

1 partially baked pizza crust (9 inches) or dough round

1/4 cup each: pesto, toasted pine nuts, see note

1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread pesto thinly over prepared pizza crust. Distribute the drained artichoke hearts evenly over the pie; sprinkle with the pine nuts. Cover with grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake until the crust's bottom is golden and crisp and the cheese has melted, about 7-10 minutes. Slice into wedges; serve hot.

Note: To toast pine nuts, place in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until the nuts are browned, about 5 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 563 calories, 59 percent of calories from fat, 39 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 32 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 742 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.




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