“Did anyone order me a plain cheese?”
Home Alone has been one of my favorite movies for awhile – I watch it both at Christmas and various other times throughout the year. As far as Christmas movies go, Home Alone 1 & 2, Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, and Elf are my absolute favorites. I can watch them anytime and they never fail to make me laugh and get in the Christmas spirit. Obviously I knew I had to recreate a dinner from one of these movies, and I settled on Home Alone because the plain cheese pizza is so iconic. This recipe has a buttery crust, a super flavorful sauce, and melty cheese – it doesn’t get any more comforting than that.
One of my favorite parts in the second Home Alone is when he’s in the limo, eating a slice of his pizza and sipping on a champagne glass full of Pepsi while watching The Grinch. When I was younger I thought that was the coolest thing ever, and, well, I kind of still do. Of course, there are parts of both Home Alone movies where I’m like, wait, why don’t you just go to the cops, Kevin? Did you tell your parents what you did? Did Buzz and his girlfriend stay together? Why do you have the vocabulary of a 35 year old? And why does an 8 year old always become BFF with the older people? I think they need to make a Home Alone: Where Are They Now? to satisfy all of these burning questions.
Oh, and just for the record, I bought the 1st Home Alone on regular DVD a long time ago, and then I somehow stumbled upon the family fun edition of the movie (linked to above), decided I needed it and bought it. Let me be the first to say that if you don’t own this version of the DVD and you love Home Alone, you absolutely need it – the behind the scenes are worth it alone.
Dinner in the Movie: Home Alone
Plain Cheese Pizza
(Crust adapted from CDKitchen)
1 1/3 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil (plus more for baking)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
4 cups flour
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 28 oz can of tomato sauce
3-4 cloves of garlic (I use some roasted garlic cloves), minced finely
3-4 Tbsp of chopped basil
1-2 Tbsp of anchovy paste, optional
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmigiano-reggiano, grated, optional
For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients. For a smoother sauce, place in a blender and puree until smooth. Store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
For large mixing bowl, place the water and yeast in. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the dry milk, salt, sugar, olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix well. With a dough hook on a mixer, add the flour 1 cup at a time, making sure to incorporate the flour before adding the next batch. Turn your mixer onto medium-low and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough has pulled away from the bowl and is elastic. Divide the dough into three balls, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour or so (you can skip this part, but I found it made the pizzas rise better – I did it both ways). In separate 9 inch cake pans, place a little oil into each one to coat the bottom. Roll the dough into a 9 inch circles and place in cake pans. Brush a little melted butter to the outer edge of the dough and cover the cake pans with a towel, plastic wrap, or a plate. Sit them in a warm place and let them rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. For each pizza, spread a few spoonfuls of the sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and a little parmigiano, if desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes, watching closely (one of mine took as little as 10 minutes while another took about 20) and until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is slightly browned. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes then slice and serve.