Pizza Friday was a tradition in my house for as long as I can remember. Try getting a pizza on Friday night at any Long Island pizzeria and your social survival skills are likely to be tested. Crowded parking lots, long wait times and sub-par quality due to the amount of product they need to turn out.
Unlike my trip to Italy, pizza joints here in New York don’t focus on pizza alone. They are now all things to all people. From pasta to fish to paninis and a pizza list that’s as long as the Long Island Expressway. The sauce and the crust need to be exceptional to satisfy my pizza cravings.
In the 80s and 90s, pizza became so readily available and affordable to eat out. Homemade pizza was not seen as an option growing up. The closest our kitchen came was an English muffin pizza once in a while.
Homemade Pizza for the Win
So let’s start with the benefits of making pizza at home. For starters you don’t have to leave the house. You can likely use ingredients you have on hand and if you have children, they love choosing and adding toppings!
Making pizza at home is all about the ingredients. You can choose your own organic toppings, homemade sauce or even (insert gasp) make a gluten free pizza. Sourcing freshly made mozzarella for your pie will make you happy, trust me on this one.
Bottom line is making pizza at home is affordable, fun and super easy. So what are you waiting for?
Choose Your Toppings Wisely
Cheese pizza is great but I think we can all agree the more toppings the better. The opportunity to use fresh locally sourced ingredients and organic products has become a reality.
While many local pizza places make a great pie, I’m losing my taste for it. They are being squeezed by their margins and cutting costs on things like quality flour and meats.
So rather than mystery meat and flavorless mozzarella cheese choose healthy mindful ingredients and get your pizza making on at home.
Dough You Know What You’re Doing?
Okay so pizza seems intimidating because making dough can leave you puzzled. I’ve had quite a few mishaps with dough and when you start getting into yeast and moisture levels and umm science, pizza dough making can be quite intimidating.
Luckily there are a few options out there. For starters, if you have a pizza place that you know and trust, you can buy pizza dough from them. That’s right folks, you can ask your pizza place for dough! They’ve already done the heavy lifting for you.
You can also buy pre-made pizza dough at your local super market or Trader Joe’s in the refrigerator section. They’ll have some different options you can try out and see which one you like best. Just follow the instructions on their packaging.
Last but not least you can buy a fully cooking pizza bread or for a different texture you can substitute naan bread. You can find fresh or frozen versions of both.
The Best Pizza on Long Island
While I hope you believe the best pizza you’ll eat is the one you’ll make at home. If you’re looking for quality pizza out in the wild I have two recommendations for you here on on Long Island.
Saverio’s Authentic Pizza Napoletana is dedicated to quality ingredients and making pizza the traditional way. Get this, the owner and pizzaiolo, Saverio, is a a certified pizzaiolo of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (Association of Neapolitan Pizza-makers). Yeh, say that 10 times fast!
Check out their story and tasty pizza menu on their website : http://www.saveriospizza.com/
Next up is Umbertos of New Hyde Park. It’s been a tradition in our family since before I was born and where my father grew up. With calzones the size of a small planet and a Sicilian pie that has the crispiest crunchiest crust ever you won’t be disappointed. They have multiple locations all over Long Island, including one of their newest in Massapequa Park.
Homemade Pizza Ingredients
2 pieces naan bread, or pizza bread
½ cup vodka sauce (homemade or jarred)
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ zucchini, sliced thin
1 cup grape and yellow tomatoes, halved
5 slices salami, cut into pieces
½ cup Big Lou’s Onion Sauce *Sweet*
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Sub Fresh Basil for Italian Seasoning
Sub Fresh Mozzarella for Shredded Mozzarella
Homemade Pizza Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Top each piece of naan with vodka sauce, cheese, veggies, salame and onion sauce. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until it reaches your desired crispiness. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and serve.