A vast majority of modern pizza restaurants stick to a stable of a few very common ingredients: dough, red sauce, mozzarella cheese, meat and vegetables. It’s this formula that creates classics like pepperoni pizza, all meat pizzas, vegetarian pizzas and other common specialties you see at most mass marketed pizza chains. This stable of ingredients works for a lot of people, but the world of pizza is so much bigger than what we have been led to believe. When you have the equipment to make your own pizzas, like a wood burning oven, then you have the chance to create pizzas with ingredients that almost no restaurant would ever offer. Below are ways you change ingredients to create more interesting and flavorful pies.
–Cheeses. Mozzarella has been the king of pizza cheese for a long time, but there are so many other options. Feta cheese provides a strong aroma to pizzas looking for a bit of a punch and it goes great with other Greek ingredients. Asiago cheese has a deep nutty flavor and has a much stronger profile than mozzarella. Goat cheese offers a very distinctive flavor and will create a pizza with an almost completely different flavor than you’ve tried before.
–Sauces. Red tomato sauce is very versatile and flavorful, but it’s not the only game in town. Olive oil can be used in a variety ways as a substitute for red sauce. For example, you can infuse olive oil with things like garlic and basic to create a unique and powerful flavor. You can also use a white sauce on a pizza by making a roux or Alfredo sauce for a more creamy and delicate flavor. Some people even use things like BBQ sauce or salad dressing to create their desired flavors.
–Toppings. There are not a whole lot of things that don’t go well on a pizza. Open up your imagination a little and experiment with lots of different things. One of my personal favorites is artichokes and roasted bell peppers. You can also experiment with different types of meats. Use ingredient combinations from other types of food to figure out what would go well together on a pizza.