This Is PIZZA!

Okay, DIYeters, there is some serious stuff going on in the USofA. There are issues with foreign relations, issues with domestic policy-I’m actually overwhelmed by it all, emotionally. There are a few targeted issues that I want to talk about…but not tonight. Tonight, it is cold and rainy and I am seriously broke, so I am hiding in the refuge that is the Food It Yourself kitchen and I am making pizza. You can make pizza, too. It is really, really easy, and does not have to be expensive.

  1. The red part.

We have options here; options you will never find at your local pizza shop. You could buy a jar or can of pizza sauce. There is no shame in that. You could use up that partial jar of tomato sauce from Wednesday night. That is a terrific idea, because wasting food is bad. You could also…

Chop half an onion and as much garlic as you like (I went with 7 cloves) very fine. Sauté in olive oil with a pinch of salt until the onions are translucent and it no longer smells raw. It will take about 10 minutes.

Add one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes and one 29 oz can of tomato purèe.

Season to taste. I went with parsley and basil. You could also use oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, a splash of wine or anything else in your pantry that strikes your fancy. This is your pizza sauce. You just be you. Let that all simmer together for 30-45 minutes, you can go longer if you have the time.  Definitely keep it covered- it can get pretty splattery.

  1. The handle.

Again, there are so many options here- English muffins, French bread, and pita rounds are all really good ready-to-go pizza bases. If you have them, use them. You can buy pizza dough from your local bakery or grocery store. I have tried the cauliflower crust thing, and it worked.  However, “normal” pizza crust is made from totally mundane ingredients that you probably have in the house already. Why buy what you have the means to make?

Mix ¾ cup of warm water, a tablespoon of dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Let that sit for about five minutes so the yeast can wake up.

In another bowl, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt. You also have the option to add some flavor here. I went with a little more parsley and some garlic powder.

Stir in the water/sugar/yeast mixture and three tablespoons of olive oil.

Knead that dough until it is smooth, add a little extra flour if it is very sticky.

Please note-if you do not keep yeast in your refrigerator you can still have a DIY crust. There are yeast-free crust recipes all over the internet, like this one from

  1. The fun stuff

I firmly believe in topping a pizza with whatever you have in the house. Do not be afraid to get creative with leftovers. Pick the last bits of meat off that rotisserie chicken, use up the last of the week’s cold cuts, smash a hard-boiled egg, or scour the pantry for that last can of pineapple chunks.

Mr. Food It Yourself requested a cheeseburger pizza, as he recently reclaimed some beef patties from the office kitchen freezer. They were forgotten after the company cookout this summer. I’ll say it again, food waste is bad. I shredded a little cheddar and a little Colby jack. I also decided to try stuffing the crust rim with mozzarella, since I had some string cheese kicking around.

  1. Get it together

Pre-heat the oven to 450˚F. Since we will ultimately bake our pizza in a large cast irn skillet I made sure the skillet was in the pre-heating oven.

Roll out your crust. The dough might spring back a bit when you try to stretch it. If so, let it rest for a few minutes and then try again. Make sure you work on a floured surface so your crust will be easily mobile.

I moved my crust to a floured pizza peal. I rolled bits of mozzarella into the rim.

When the oven was ready, Mr. Food It Yourself engaged his expert level skills and transferred the crust to the heated skillet. The toppings were added.

Please note-you can also bake your pizza on any flat baking sheet, in a pie plate, in a shallow casserole, whatever you have.

After 20 minutes:

  1. Dinner time

We ate the pizza. It was delicious. I did not have to spend any money or even leave the house. Today, that is exactly what I wanted. Tomorrow, I will go back to worrying about the future of the inhabited galaxy.

What is your go-to-DIY-comfort-food-on-a-budget? Share in the comments!