Everything You Need to Plan a Pizza Party
With fall shows set to hit televisions everywhere, it’s the perfect time to plan a little get-together at home. Why not make it a casual but delicious pizza party? Prepare everything in advance, then stick the pies in a super-hot oven once everyone has arrived. A party based around pizza is awesome because you can do it for two or 12 people—simply change the amount of pizzas you make. Wondering how it’s done? Here’s everything you need, timing and tips included, to throw the most fabulous pizza party around.
The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani ($21)
Tony Gemignani, a San Francisco–based pizzaiolo with three pizzerias, has been named the World Pizza Champ 11 times. His first cookbook, The Pizza Bible, came out last year and features tons of helpful hints, scrumptious recipes, and gorgeous photos. To make the crispiest dough, Gemignani recommends using King Arthur King Arthur Sir Lancelot High-Gluten Flour. No time to make dough from scratch? Pick up several pre-made balls from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods—both grocers make easy-to-handle, fresh pizza dough daily.
Keep appetizers simple and fill a bowl with marinated olives. This last-minute hors d’oeuvre comes together quickly and pairs perfectly with a glass of sparkling rosé—it is a party after all! If you don’t have time to marinate olives, purchase your favorite selection of kalamatas and castelvetranos at the grocery store, and plate on a pretty serving dish.
The most traditional of pizzas, the Margherita, is a must-make for every pizza party. Since there are so few ingredients in a Margherita pizza, it’s essential to use the most delectable ones you can find. A good homemade tomato sauce is crucial for maximum flavor, but if you’re having the party on a school night, get the best marinara you can find.
Be sure to cook the pizza on a pizza stone, and if you don’t have one, follow this technique to get restaurant-quality pizza every time: Preheat the oven to the hottest temperature, ideally 500°F. Cook the pizza on the bottom shelf for 10 minutes, then transfer to the middle shelf and cook for five to 10 minutes more, depending on the heat of your oven. Broil for one minute to ensure the top is charred. Let rest for three minutes, slice, and devour.
A pizza piled high with spicy greens is a fresh and light meal. This recipe calls for arugula, but any other greens, like shredded kale and baby spinach, would be equally as tasty. The easiest way to slice pizza? With pizza scissors!
Round out the pizza menu with one pie that has meat, in this case prosciutto’s smoky cousin, speck. Cremini mushrooms add earthiness while slightly wilted spears of purple onion provide sweetness. Serve with a red wine blend that is fruit forward and full bodied.
A simple green salad with roasted citrus, creamy avocado, and herbaceous mint is the ideal accompaniment to the pizza. A tart citrus dressing is made with orange and lemon juices and olive oil. Assemble the salad a few hours before the party, and keep cold in the fridge. Store the dressing in a mason jar, dress, and toss just before serving.