I got waylaid on the way home from work the other night. I stopped at a neighbor’s house to ask a quick question, but they cheerfully invited me inside and before I knew it I was kicking back, chatting about weekend plans with a drink in my hand. One margarita became two, and I eventually headed home about an hour and a half past my dogs’ dinnertime — and my own.
Once I filled the kibble bowls and reassured my worried beasts that they had not been woefully abandoned or cruelly starved by their human, I turned to consider what to do about my own dubious situation of two drinks on a mostly empty stomach.
Since that condition generally means absolutely no desire to cook despite the urgent need to eat something substantial, I did what most people do on such occasions: I opened the freezer to see if maybe there was a quick frozen thing that I could simply pop in the microwave.
What I found was even better.
I hadn’t been home on Friday when the Golden Gate Organics box arrived, so I was thrilled and actually said “oh hell yeah!” out loud to my dogs when I discovered the bonus pizza from Passione in the freezer.
That’s pretty out of character for me because I’m generally not much of a frozen pizza person. I typically buy fresh pizza dough at Trader Joe’s or the Berkeley Bowl and make my own pizza-like creations on a cookie sheet. A recent favorite is roasted yellow beets, scallions, feta and honey. Super yum!
If I do buy a frozen pizza, it is always a simple thin-crust model with plain cheese, and I doctor it extensively with things like artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes, or maybe some fresh spinach, basil and goat cheese.
This one didn’t seem to need much doctoring though; it looked like it had generous slices of tomato and zucchini and — oh! — feta. I preheated the oven to 500 and put the pizza directly on the wire rack.
When I pulled it out all golden brown and bubbly six minutes later, the crust did not droop as I used a spatula to transfer it to the cutting board, a most excellent sign.
Reaching for my Ulu, a rocker-shaped knife that a friend brought me from a recent Alaska trip, I cut the pie into quarters. The Inuit and Aluet people use Ulus for skinning and cleaning animals; mine is used exclusively for pizza cutting.
I’m mildly embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even sit down to eat; I stood right there at the kitchen counter and devoured half the pizza straightaway, adding only red chili flakes for a bit of a kick.
Despite my general bias against frozen pizzas, I can report that this was a perfectly respectable pizza that was quite thankfully missing that certain je ne sais quoi that comes from something being mass produced. The toppings were well proportioned and the flavor was good; the crust itself was excellent, although the edge was rather too dense for my liking.
That edge was perfect, though, to leave out overnight to make hard, crunchy “pizza bones” for my pups. My dogs go nuts for them, and really they are a decent treat if you think about it— nothing but flour, yeast, water and maybe a little bit of baked-on cheese.
My only real quibble with this pizza is that there was no label of any kind. That means no ingredient list, heating instructions, expiration date or calorie count (although on second thought, perhaps I should be grateful not to know how many calories I consumed.)
All in all, though, the Passione Pizza did its job quite well, satisfying both human and beast. I’ll be getting another one in my next GGO box — because it’s clearly prudent to keep one of these on hand for those unexpected pizza emergencies.
PS: Corey is also considering carrying fresh pizza dough from Passione, which I think is an excellent idea. Tell him you think so too!