I’m An Italian Chef at Heart!: Spaghetti and Pizza Recipes

Two of my favorite things to eat are pasta and pizza! The rest of my family is on the same page; these are perhaps the two most-requested menu items that I make.

I like a tasty, convient take-out pizza as much as the next person, but I like my health much more! That’s why both of these recipes are 100% whole-wheat, low on sugar, and low on saturated fat! The marinara sauce is my own original concoction, and the pizza recipe is from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids.

Perfect Homemade Pizza Everytime!

Ingredients for crust

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 pkg or 2 1/4 tsp fast-rising yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water

Topping suggestions

  • 3-chess blend of: mozarella, romano, and feta
  • Prego for the sauce (or any jarred marinara sauce)
  • onions
  • bell peppers
  • portabello mushrooms
  • Jenny-O italian turkey sausage
  • ham
  • fresh basil
  • pepperonchinis
  • whatever else sounds good to you!

Instructions

  • Add sugar and yeast to the 3/4 cup of warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes until mixture becomes foamy
  • Meanwhile, add flour and salt to bowl of food processor (if you have a dough blade, use that), and pulse to combine (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just knead the dough by hand; I’ve made it both ways many times, and they both turn out great!)
  • Add foamy mixture to food processor while it is running. It should form a cohesive ball. If it is crumbly, slowly add more water. Let food processor knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • With oiled hands, remove dough from food processor and place in oiled bowl. Let the dough rise for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degreees Fahrenheit
  • Thoroughly oil the pizza pan!
  • Assemble your pizza
  • Bake until crust is golden brown (15-17 minutes, depending on how many toppings it has).

Notes

  • This can be a little messy and time consuming, so I recommend tackling it on a weekend. It’s especially great if you can get help with the dishes.
  • When I make pizza, I make a minimum of two pizzas, and up to four or five. It is great leftover, and you can even freeze it and re-heat it in the microwave!

World-Class Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • handful parsley
  • handful basil
  • lb mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 30 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ~2-3 cups pre-made sauce (optional, I use prego)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • spicy red pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (OR Italian-seasoned Jenny-O ground turkey)

Instructions

  • Add a little olive oil to a nonstick skillet (don’t fear this source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids!). Sauté the onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers until softened.
  • Meanwhile in another nonstick skillet, brown the meat. At the last minute, before it is cooked through, added in your freshly chopped basil & parsley
  • Combine veggies and meat into 1 extra-large skillet or sauce pan.
  • Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes
  • Add salt, pepper, spicy red pepper, and italian seasoning blend to taste
  • At this point the sauce should be delicious, but a bit runny. At this point you have 2 options. 1) Let it simmer on low for a few hours until it thickens, OR 2) Add 2 cups or so of pre-made sauce (I usually do this when I’m in a hurry).

Notes

  • I find this hearty, chunky sauce is best served over whole-wheat rotini, but you can use any type of noodle that you like. And sometimes I just eat a big bowl of the sauce as if it were a stew! Also delicious served over steamed veggies if you’re trying to cut down on starch.
  • The fresh herbs are what really send this sauce over the edge! I don’t recommend skipping them.
  • Tip when searching for 100% whole-wheat noodles: some noodle packages say “whole wheat,” but that doesn’t mean that they are 100% whole wheat. Most “whole wheat” noodles found at stores like Wal-Mart are only about 50% whole wheat. Check you labels, and shop around until you find 100%; once you do, stock up, because dry noodles keep for a long time! In a pinch, even 50% whole wheat is better than white flour! 🙂
  • For gluten-intolerance: I find that brown-rice noodles are nearly indistinguishable from whole wheat noodles! I often use brown-rice noodles in my lasagna, because around here 100% whole-wheat lasagna noodles are especially hard to find.
  • This recipe was born by chopping up every type of sauce-friendly veggie I had in my refrigerator at the time, so be creative! Substitute to fit your family’s preference and what you have on hand — you can’t go wrong with veggies!
  • Speaking of veggies, both of these recipes are excellent paired with roasted veggies!
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5 thoughts on “I’m An Italian Chef at Heart!: Spaghetti and Pizza Recipes

  1. Double like! Triple like! I want some now! This really is the BEST pizza of my life. I LOVE that it is the best tasting and the healthiest at the same time! It leaves me feeling good: energized, steady blood sugar, ready to go. Some white flour greasy pizzas just make me pass out. This is SO MUCH BETTER!!! ( :

  2. Pingback: Ice bath therapy – only the bold feel young! « frankoshanko

  3. Trying the crust today! The dough feels really good! Wishing I had more toppings. Actually, wishing I had the pizza in your pictures which look fantastic!

    • Thank you! All the toppings are delicious, but my husband also likes it with just sauce, cheese, and ham bits I’m excited that you are making it! I hope you and your family enjoy it 🙂 Let me know if you come up with any great variations or other topping ideas in the future!

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