Recipe Hub: Rhode Island Pizza Strips, The Delicious Pizza You Can Serve To Your Vegan Friends
Sometimes, the best food is the most simple food. One of my most favorite snacks in the world, ever since I was a kid, are pizza strips. Tragically, they are yet another food that somehow pretty much only exists in Rhode Island. If you are there for some reason, I highly recommend the ones at Crugnale Bakery in Cranston (although honestly, even the ones you can buy at gas stations sometimes are delicious). They're referred to by a variety of names — pizza strips, red strips, bakery pizza and party pizza (because every party you ever go to has a giant pile of them, usually cut into squares) — but they're all the same thing.
Of course, they're super easy to make yourself, and I do it all the time, because I am lazy and because now my roommate loves them also.
This is an extremely simple recipe, and yet, pretty much all of the recipes for them online are wrong. This is largely because of this cookbook, "The Providence and Rhode Island Cook Book," that tells people to put three teaspoons of salt in the sauce for the pizza, and to use an 18x24 inch pan for one pound of dough. I don't know if it's a typo or just some kind of glaring error or if the person who came up with it is actually insane, but if you do that, they will be absolutely inedible. They will also be completely inedible if you put three tablespoons of sugar in the sauce, as another recipe I found online suggests. People are monsters. It's literally just seasoned crushed tomatoes on pizza dough! It is not that hard!
You will need.
- 1-2lbs of pizza dough (I prefer a thicker crust, so I usually use 2), or even one of those Pillsbury pizza crusts that come in the can.
- Half a can of crushed tomatoes (the regular 28oz cans)
- Black Pepper
- Olive oil
- Minced Garlic
- Red Pepper (optional)
- Parmesan-Romano (optional)
- Meat dripping (also optional
- 9x13 baking pan (or whatever, really)
Roll your dough until it's about the size of the baking pan. Then, grease the baking pan with olive oil. Start preheating your oven to 400.
Grab a bowl, pour the crushed tomatoes in (I usually just use the whole can and then throw the rest in the fridge or make two pizzas). I do two twists of salt on my grinder and no more than that, I guess if you don't have a grinder, about two shakes or a pinch, and like a half teaspoon of sugar (that's to take away the metal taste from the can). After that, you can just do the other seasonings in whatever proportions you like. If you're lazy, you can also just use one of those "Italian Seasonings" shakers.
Optionally! If you're not serving vegans or vegetarians and have some meat drippings from the last time you cooked, you can put about a tablespoon of that in there. That's what my Nonnie does, but I've never bothered with it.
Once you're done with that, you pour the crushed tomatoes onto the dough. It's gonna be THICK, not like when you're putting sauce on dough for regular pizza where you're gonna be putting cheese on top of it.
Then, drizzle some olive oil on top of the sauce. This is where, if you want (I usually don't want), you can sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano or Parmesan-Romano on top.
Then stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take it out, let it cool all the way, and then cut it into strips or squares. Usually, once they're cooled off, I'll wrap the strips in Saran wrap and put them in the fridge or in some Tupperware and keep them on the counter.
Now, unlike other pizzas, you don't eat this hot. You eat it at room temperature. Or even cold. So like, don't eat them until at least a couple hours after you've made them. They're actually *best* the day after you make them, because that way all of the seasonings seep into the crust.
And that's it! As boring as it sounds, I swear they're like crack. And as a bonus, they're great for parties both because they're super easy and fast and aren't eaten hot, but also because they're vegan so long as you don't put cheese on them or do that meat drippings thing. Ta-da!
Anyway, this is now your open thread!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse