Piece of Pizza Pie Herb Garden: Zucchini and Basil Pizza with Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce

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Makes one 12- to 14-inch pizza or two 9-inch pizzas

A summertime special! Fresh garden vegetables and a generous helping of basil determine the character of this family favorite.

  • 1 pound sweet red peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ batch Master Recipe, in 1 or 2 portions
  • Leaves from 6 to 8 sprigs sweet basil, shredded
  • 1 small zucchini, about 5 ounces, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Roast the peppers under the broiler, over a flame or on the grill. When the peppers are well blistered, wrap them in foil or place in a paper bag until they are cool enough to handle. Stem, seed, skin and chop coarsely.
  2. In a nonreactive skillet, sauté the peppers over medium heat with the garlic and onion in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, in about 10 minutes, season them well with salt and pepper, transfer them to a food processor, food mill or blender, and make a rough puree.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven and shape the pizza(s) according to the Master Recipe. Brush the dough with the remaining olive oil. Scatter about half the shredded basil over the dough and spread with the roasted pepper puree. Arrange the zucchini slices on top of the puree. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the pizza and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 3 minutes longer, or until the bottom is crisp and the cheese is melted and slightly colored. Garnish with the remaining basil. Serve hot.

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