Who doesn’t like pizza? I know I have never met that person. And, what grandchild doesn’t adore being in the kitchen with their grandmother? I haven’t met that child either.
I have a treat for you today. This is my friend Mag’s story of making pizza with her beloved grandmother. Mag makes this pizza every Friday night for dinner. Imagine how pleased her grandmother would be to know (or maybe already knows) that her granddaughter and now her great-grandson are still making her recipe and thinking of Nonna with love. What follows is Mag’s story.
So I was trying to come up with any absolute recipes from my grandmother but she really didn’t use them! I will try to recreate the way I learned from watching her for many years!
Anna Busacca came to the United States through Ellis Island from Naples, Italy at the age of 4. My fondest memories of my grandmother was her many visits to our house when I was growing up. I am the oldest of five and my parents had a business so she came to help out a lot. That’s where I learned to make many favorite dishes. I also picked up a few bad words in Italian as well! I can remember many Easters with fresh raviolis placed on clean sheets over all the furniture in the living room to “dry out”. And plates of escarole soup, pasta, and sausage served as an appetizer before every Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Most of my friends woke up Sunday mornings to the smell of bacon, but at my house it was fresh meatballs and garlic being fried up for Sunday gravy dinner!
Every Friday she made “100” pizzas, at least that’s what it looked like to me as a kid. The kitchen had many rectangular pans ready for fresh dough and toppings. I asked her to write down how she made the dough, which she did, but in broken English and not too exact! So here it is – exactly – Anna Busacca’s pizza recipe:
Dough (from her recipe card)
Take one package of yeast and the dissolve in warm water not to hot, one pacage of yeast in 2 pound of flour. Add salt and mix al together until make the dough to rise in a warm place. When it rise work it down a few time then use flour if you need it., if dough is watery use flour then make the ball of dough and put it on the table and cover it for haf hour then make the pizza. Put little oil on the pan then put the dough spread it and put the mozzarella cheese and gravy and grated cheese and put it in the oven 450 and look under the dough to see if done.
Olive Oil to coat bottom of saucepan
4 cloves of garlic, minced
San Marzano tomatoes, 1 large can
Oregano and parsley
Heat olive oil and add garlic. Crush tomatoes with your hands and add to saucepan. Sprinkle oregano and chopped parsley. Done – don’t cook……
So over the years I have scoured cookbooks and the internet for the perfect pizza dough recipe, as well as purchased frozen balls of fresh dough in the grocery stores. They never seem to taste like her crispy, chewy pans of heaven, but I love that I carried on the tradition of Friday night pizzas when my kids were growing up and now my son has taken over for his family to enjoy!
I’ve included two photos – one of her in a painting that was done when she was in her 50s which is hanging in my dining room to toast her at every meal, and one with me when I was pregnant with my first child and she visited for two weeks!!!
Doesn’t this story just put a smile on your face and make you hungry for pizza? Thanks Mag for sharing it with us.