Tag: Pizza

Newman’s Own Pizzas

Newman’s Own Pizzas

We thought that the Newman’s Own pizzas we say in the grocer’s freezer would be a nice change from our making our own. The pictures, at least, looked enticing. So we picked up a couple of them: Supreme and Harvest Vegetable.

Boxed pizzas

The pizzas come in a box and sealed in plastic as well, on a cardboard disk about 10 ¾   inches. So, the pizzas are about 10 ½ inches each.

Pizzas before baking

You cook them in a 425˚ F oven for 10-12 or 11-13 minutes: the veggie one takes the slightly longer time. You are supposed to remove them from the cardboard disk, but the picture didn’t make that clear, and after we put them in the oven, we discovered that fact in the text, and used our pizza peel to lift them off the cardboard to continue cooking. You are supposed to cook them until the cheese melts and the crust browns a bit. Because of our snafu, this took a bit longer then 12 minutes, but they came out looking pretty nice.

Pizzas just out of the oven

We cut them into 6 pieces each.

While we thought the flavors of both pizzas were quite good, they really were diminutive. The thickness was less than 1/8 inch, except for the occasional pepper or sausage lump. The pepperoni was sliced so thin it only had one side. Surprisingly, the ingredients suggested that this was a yeast dough. It certainly didn’t rise much.

Edge view of Supreme pizza

The package said that a serving was 1/3 of a pizza, or two of the six slices implied in the package picture. That was about 250 calories, which is not going to fill you up very much. Each of the 6 slices weighed about 1.8 oz, meaning that the whole baked pizza weighed about 10 oz. Initially the pizzas we 15.7 or 17 oz meaning that there was at least a 5 oz water loss in baking.  By contrast, the pizza we usually make produces slices of about the same dimensions that weigh about 5 oz each.

Essentially, this was a tasty 2-dimensional pizza, that left us kind of hungry. I guess if we had looked at the grocery receipt and found they were only about $7.50 each, we shouldn’t have been surprised. We did go away hungry, though.

‘Parlor Pizza and Bar’ opens in Wilton

‘Parlor Pizza and Bar’ opens in Wilton

signTim LaBant’s eagerly awaited new brick oven pizza restaurant Parlor opened last weekend to such enthusiasm that we couldn’t get in the door. So we went last night Wednesday to try it out. Parlor is still a work in progress: their liquor license hasn’t come in yet, so you can order soft drinks or BYOB. The sign on the door notes that Ancona’s liquor store is just a few doors away. No matter. We came for the pizza.

We also came for the salads. While they haven’t yet added appetizers, the salads are terrific. We split a large Waldorf-like salad ($17 for the large version for two), made up of apples, raisins, walnuts, romaine and radishes. They also offer Caesar, Watercress, Roasted Butternut and Roasted Cauliflower salads.


The menu is undergoing changes as they grow into the place. The pizzas they offer are

  • Tomato, broccoli race, garlic, hot pepper
  • Margherita
  • Clam pie, lemon, broccoli rabe, olive oil, parsley
  • Mushroom pie, mozzarella, tallegio, scallion, black pepper
  • Pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, tomato sauce
  • Cheese pizza, shredded mozzarella, tomato sauce
  • Sausage, onion and smoked mozzarella

All  of these ae baked in their Ferrari level wood fired brick oven. According to a recent column on NPR’s  The Salt, a brick oven is practically required to make Neopolitan-style pizzas. The properties of brick ovens are such that the heat gets transferred to the pizza more slowly than in a steel oven. And, of course, the smoky taste of the wood fire is added to the pizza flavor as well. These ovens are quite a bit hotter than your home oven, usually 625˚ to 700˚ and cook the pizza in just a couple of minutes.

Last night we tried the Sausage and onion pizza, and took a picture of our neighbor’s pepperoni pizza. Each pizza is considered an individual size. They are around 11 inches, but when you subtract the crust, they are probably about right for one adult, or perhaps two children.  They are priced at $14 to $17 each.

table settingParlor had added just two desserts so far: Zeppoli, or fried pizza dough with Nutella, and Lime Posset with berries.

This was a nice introduction to a popular new restaurant. It seats around 32 and 12 2-top tables plus seats around the bar. You can also order takeout at (203) 762-6142. We wish them the best of luck.

Sophie T’s Pizza: our Nantucket favorite

Sophie T’s Pizza: our Nantucket favorite

Sophie T’s is a small mid island restaurant which has about 12 tables and does a huge takeout business as well. Of the three major pizza places on the island, this one is our favorite. But it is nearly 7 miles from our  Madaket house to Sophie T’s, and while we can certainly keep a pizza warm using our heated seats, it won’t be as bubbling hot as you get when they deliver it to your table.

So we split a large pizza and a bottle of wine whenever we go there. The pizzas are plentifully loaded with cheese and tomato sauce and whatever toppings you ask for.

wingsTheir menu includes wings, garlic bread, soup, and several salads and subs as well as their delicious pizzas. This year we tried their Buffalo wings with bleu cheese ($8.95). They were piping hot and had lots of flavor, but were not it seems, deep fried as we expected so they didn’t have that dry crust you expect. Nonetheless, we liked them a lot.

We ordered a large pizza (shown above), half onions, peppers and mushrooms, and half sausage and onion, and even after eating quite a bit, we still had some to take home for lunch.

Sophie T’s is at 7 Dave’s St, which runs one way from Orange to Pleasant, and more or less across from Stop and Shop.  If you are on Pleasant, you can either go around the rotaries and out to Pleasant and back to Dave’s or you can turn into Bayberry Court and wind your way around to Sophie T’s. If your are on Pleasant, turn into Dave’s and turn right into the lot. There is plenty of parking.


There are two other major pizza places on Nantucket. One, not far from Sophie’s is Pi Pizzeria on West Creek. It is brick oven style pizza, and while quite good just isn’t as good as Sophie’s. The other, Oath Pizza is on Straight Wharf, near the Hy-line Ferry, and once claimed 90 second cooking times. Unfortunately, this is really for the walk-in trade, since parking near there is pretty nearly impossible.

Thank goodness Sophie T’s is so good!

Pizza: how we make it

Pizza: how we make it

We’ve been making pizza every week for years now, and here we share some of the tricks that evolved, when we don’t have time we just order pizza online or get some frozen pizza from our freezer. We make our dough from scratch and buy sliced, fresh mozzarella from the local deli counter. Toppings are whatever you like. We usually make one veggie and one pepperoni.

The dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 ½ tsp dry yeast
  • Flour for kneading
  • Cornmeal to slide onto peel
  • 2 baking stones

The sauce

  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 6 oz water
  • ½ cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic

The toppings

  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 stick pepperoni, sliced
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced
  1. Place the baking stones in the oven and preheat to 465 ° F. If you don’t’ have baking stones, use any good pizza pan. The stones will help make a somewhat better crust but they aren’t absolutely required.

proofingin food procrisen

  1. To make the dough, add the yeast and sugar to a pitcher large enough to hold 1-½ cups water. Add the lukewarm water and stir until uniform. Let the yeast mixture rise for about 5 minutes until it bubbles. This is called “proving” the yeast, and if it doesn’t foam up, try another packet of yeast. We have started using yeast from a jar, and keeping the rest refrigerated so it doesn’t deteriorate. Yeast packets can be a crap shoot: their health depends on how they are stored at the grocer.
  2. Add the 3 cups of flour to a food processor, fitted with a dough blade, and pour in the yeast mixture. Pulse until smooth. If the dough looks too sticky, add more flour a half-scoop at a time and mix in. Allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes until it is more than doubled in bulk.

spicesgarlic pressblender sauce

  1. To make the sauce, mix the tomato paste, water and some bottled tomato sauce in a blender or bowl. We use our homemade garden tomato sauce, but if you don’t have that, leave it our or add a little bottled sauce.  Add the sugar, basil and oregano. Strip the leaves off the rosemary between your thumb and forefinger and add them to the sauce. Add the sugar, or the sauce will be a bit sour. Crush the 2 garlic cloves in the garlic press and add them to the sauce. Mix thoroughly in the blender.

dough on boarddough in 2

  1. When the dough has risen, scrape it out onto a floured board, and if it is too sticky roll the dough in the flour to mix a little in. Divide the dough in half and roll out each into s pizza-sized circle on the floured board.


  1. Before adding the toppings, sprinkle some cornmeal under the dough so you can slide it around and lift it with a pizza peel.
  2. Pour half the sauce on each pizza, and cover with mozzarella slices.

sauce on doughtoppingspepperoni

  1. Add whatever toppings your like. We usually make veggie, pepperoni and if needed, sausage and onion.

oven stones

  1. Slip the peel under the finished pizza, open the oven, and slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Repeat for the second pizza. Bake each pizza for 16 minutes: the second one may take an extra minute.
  2. Remove them from the oven with the peel, and cut them into slices to serve.

two pizzas

This whole process takes under 2 hours, including the rising and baking time, and is more than worth it. Start the dough and heat the oven as soon as you get home, and everything else will fall into place.