For the Love of Pizza

No matter how you slice it, pizza is an American obsession. On any given day, roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population eats some pizza, according to a 2014 USDA report. We love the dish so much we declared October National Pizza Month.

Enter Curtis Stone, who shares time-tested tips on building your own perfect pizza from scratch. His secret? “Never overload pizza with toppings,” Stone says. “Too much stuff on top of the pizza weighs it down and the crust will get soggy and won’t crisp up properly.”

When choosing toppings, think seasonal. “Use fresh, in-season produce — radicchio, arugula, zucchini, leeks,” says the celebrity chef. “One of the biggest threats to healthful pizza eating is its cheesy topping. Take a cue from the Neapolitans — go without cheese once in a while. A beautiful tomato sauce, some olives, and fresh oregano comprise a classic Marinara pizza.”

Good pizza is all about the crust, right? To get that crust pizza-lovers crave, Stone says to “always cook your pizza on a preheated surface — pizza stone or baking sheet.” And to boost nutritional content and enhance texture, Stone suggests adding whole-wheat flour to the dough recipe.

In the Stone household, pizza’s a frequent visitor — served for family and friends. “Homemade pizza is a great way to kick off the weekend. It’s easy and fun to throw a bunch of sauces (white, red, olive oil) and toppings in front of guests and let them build their own ’za.”

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