Appetizer Hors D'oeuvres

Claridge’s Late-Night Pizza, with Store-Bought Ingredients

This is an emergency dish with many variations. If I was asked for a recipe that can be made with all store-bought ingredients from a regular neighborhood grocery, this pastry dough pizza is one of the best options.


  • Pre-made pastry dough, most likely Pepperidge Farm or Dufour, thawed
  • 2 cups Rao’s marinara sauce
  • 16 oz Mozzarella cheese, either sliced from your deli or packaged in the finer cheese section
  • Roasted red pepper flakes
  • Dried oregano
  • JalapeΓ±os, seeded and slice in circles
  • Pepperoni, partially cooked sausage or hamburger, red onions, or any topping you like
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Chives, finely chopped (optional)

Making It

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and put a rack in the middle
  • Take a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper, and put the dough on. Poke it with a fork, then cover with parchment paper and place another baking sheet on top to keep it from rising. Place the dough in the oven for 12 minutes, then remove and press down on the baking sheet to flatten the dough while it cooks.
  • While the dough is baking, take a sauce pan and drizzle olive oil before putting over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute or two, until fragrant, then add the sauce and cook down for 10 minutes.
  • Layer the sauce to cover the entire sheet of pastry dough (you’ll get two sheets with Pepperidge and one larger sheet with Dufour). Then, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes depending on your taste, as well as dried oregano and Parmesan. Layer the cheese or spread clumps, depending on what mozzarella you have (ball or sliced). Spread basil leaves around and add any further toppings you desire. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then turn to broil for the last minute to ensure a golden brown top. Let rest for 7-10 minutes, then sprinkle more Parmesan, red pepper flakes, oregano and chopped fresh basil on top, then serve.

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