Let’s face it: You’re busy — too busy to mess around with complicated cooking at the end of the day. Still, dinner should be more than just a cup full of cereal and the dream of a brighter tomorrow. Enter: Jenny Rosenstrach, a busy mom who makes dinner happen with style, simplicity, and just the right amount of sizzle. Whether or not you're cooking for kids, we love her easy, delicious approach. In fact, we love it so much, we'll be sharing one of her recipes every week, so you can have a life — and a REALLY good meal, too.
For the pizza sauce: In a medium saucepan over low heat, saute 1-2 garlic cloves in a lot of olive oil. Add 1 small onion (chopped), salt, pepper, a few shakes of red pepper flakes, and turn up heat slightly. Stir until onions have softened, about 3 minutes. Add 1 15-ounce can tomato puree (or sauce or diced tomatoes), a half dozen shakes of oregano. Stir and simmer on low heat while you prepare the rest of the meal. If you have basil, definitely add a few shreds at this point.
For the salad: In a medium bowl, toss shredded lettuce (any kind you like, this was red and green oak lettuce), a healthy handful of chopped cherry or grape tomatoes, a few slivers of red onion, a lot of shredded Parm. Then add your red wine vinegar and olive oil to taste, like you’re at a pizzeria. Toss.
For the pizza: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place store-bought pizza dough (or homemade if you are lucky enough to have it available) in the center of a lightly oiled square cookie sheet. Using your fingers, stretch it out to the sides of the pan as much as possible. Store-bought doughs are usually very springy so don’t get frustrated. The goal is to get the crust as thin as possible. Using a ladle or a large spoon, distribute a few dollops of pizza sauce on dough. Add sliced fresh mozzarella to the kids half of the pizza, keeping the other half relatively cheese-free. (We cheated a little here.) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (start checking after 10) until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden and crispy. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and top the cheese-less side with salad.
Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of Dinner: A Love Story and the blog of the same name. She and her husband write The Providers column for Bon Appetit.
Photos: Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story