Vodka Pizza Recipe

Vodka Pizza Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: This recipe will make more sauce than is needed for three pizzas. Extra sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Serve with pasta, if desired. Store-bought dough can be used in place of homemade. Use about 10 ounces of store-bought dough per pizza.

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  • Yield:Serves 4 to 6 (makes 3 pies)
  • Active time: 1 hour (plus time to make dough and allow to rise)
  • Total time:1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly broken up by hand
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Basic New York Pizza Dough, divided and risen at least 2 hours
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella (preferably buffalo milk), torn into rough 3/4- to 1-inch chunks and drained in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl
  • 12 to 16 basil leaves
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. 1.

    Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 1/4, about 20 minutes. Add heavy cream, increase heat to bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook until reduced again by 1/4, about 20 minutes longer. Add vodka and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. 2.

    Let sauce cool slightly, then transfer half of sauce to the jar of a blender. Blend, starting on lowest speed and gradually increasing to high until completely smooth, about 2 minutes total. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining half of sauce. Sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (see note).

  3. 3.

    At least 45 minutes before baking, place a baking stone or steel on an oven rack set to the top position and preheat oven to 550°F.

  4. 4.

    Turn single dough ball out onto lightly flour surface. Gently press out dough into rough 8-inch circle, leaving outer 1-inch higher than the rest. Gently stretch dough by draping over knuckles into a 12 to 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to pizza peel.

  5. 5.

    Spread approximately 3/4 cup of sauce evenly over surface of crust, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch border along edge. Place 8 to 10 chunks of mozzarella evenly over surface of pizza and scatter with 4 to 5 basil leaves. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with with salt. Slide pizza onto stone or steel and bake until cheese is melted and crust underbelly is spotty brown, 6 to 12 minutes total. Remove from oven with metal pizza peel, transfer to cutting board, slice, and serve. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining ingredients to make 2 additional pizzas.