It’s that time of year again. The Ray Bans and sundresses hit the streets and the chai chargers and vanilla lattés turn from hot to iced. But the weather hasn’t exactly complied with the coming of spring, and neither have my recipes. Over break, I was inspired to try something in the kitchen that I hadn’t dared attempt before: homemade pizza. Of course, this involved heaps of delicious cheese.

I decided to try two hearty variations of the classic tomato and mozzarella pie, combining earthy flavors that appeased my parents’ very different taste buds.

One pizza was cooked with sliced sweet potato, rosemary and drizzled olive oil. A few minutes before it was done baking, I topped the pie with hefty clumps of—the best part—creamy, tangy goat cheese. Here’s the final product:

pizza1

The other pizza was a variation of the classic Italian pasta dish Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, which combines the tangy and salty flavors of tomatoes, olives, anchovies, and capers. The pie also features all four of these ingredients. I added some sautéed broccolini for added texture and nutritional value and coated the top with a fresh shaving of Pecorino Romano—a sharp cheese similar to Parmesan that cuts the saltiness.

pizza2

In my book, almost any combination of toppings and cheeses will make a delicious pizza, but sometimes the most important factor is the crust, and therefore also the dough. I found a good recipe from foodnetwork.com, which also has a page of fifty easy, pizzas (my favorites are #21 and #50 – find yours!).

In the spirit of many pizza connoisseurs, mangiare felice!

-Becca Brand ’16