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Tomato and Cheese Pizza with Optional Toppings

Make any amount desired

Most of us grew up on a version of pizza with tomato sauce, lots of mozzarella cheese and an endless variety of optional vegetable or meat toppings. I prefer to experiment with other choices, but this is still a favorite standby. To make it quickly, use store-bought prebaked crusts. When you have the time, make your own dough, such as one of those in the similar and related recipes. For a healthier pizza, use whole wheat or multigrain thin crust and judicious amounts of cheese and meat toppings. A little goes a long way. It takes very little time to make pizza that tastes fresher than frozen and better than delivery. You can make as many pizzas as desired, large or small, using this recipe as a guideline.

Ingredients

I prefer to use canned crushed tomatoes with no salt added. They have a fresh, sweet flavor and I can control the seasonings. One 14-ounce can tops two 14-inch pizzas. Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, basil, parsley and lots of garlic powder. Next, layer the meats and/or vegetables (see the notes below). Top with grated mozzarella cheese, as well as Parmesan and/or Romano cheeses. Finally, drizzle just a little olive oil over the pizza. Bake according to the dough recipe or packaged directions for store-bought crusts.

Notes: When I add mushrooms, onions or green peppers, I steam them first in a covered bowl in the microwave, then drain. Fresh meats, such as sausage, bacon or hamburger must be cooked before using. Sauté in a skillet until cooked through, then drain any grease and let cool. Cured or fully cooked meats, such as pepperoni, can be added as is.