Granted, pizza is just too easy to pick up or have delivered to your door. And although you can't really make it cheaper, you can make it better. We're always surprised by our co-workers' enthusiasm over homemade pizzas made in our test kitchen and I think many would agree that making your own is easy and fun.
Most grocery stores have ready-made pizza dough (usually in the deli or freezer section). Though weights vary, we use about 1 lb (500 g) per pizza because thicker crusts don't always cook through without over-browning the top.
Pizzas don't have to be loaded down to be good. A few well chosen toppings is all you need. Cheese alone can be the basis of a great pizza. Here are five cheeses with so much personality that they don't need much else:
• Il Boschetto al Tartufo is a mild semisoft cheese studded with white truffle bits. It's sold in small chunks at many grocery stores. Just spread dough with a thin layer of tomato sauce and cover with sliced cheese for a heady, woodsy-flavoured gourmet treat.
• Buffalo mozzarella is a delicate but flavorful fresh cheese with a stringy consistency. It's wonderful rich flavour is best with just tomato sauce, pesto and fresh basil. Because it is packed in water, slice and pat dry before using.
• Manchego is a Spanish cheese with a strong gamy flavour. For best meltability, mix with mozzarella.
• Gorgonzola, the creamy Italian blue cheese, is delicious with pesto and mushrooms but should be used in moderation because it is very rich.
• Aged Gouda and Beemster have wonderful caramel flavours that taste particularly good with bacon and ham. Mix with mozzarella for more meltability.
For a few more pizza ideas, check out the following recipes: