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Super pizza party

January 20, 1999

Materials courtesy of Sargento Foods Inc.




It's Super Bowl season - time for gatherings of friends to cheer on their favorite team. Your "bowl" party can stand out from all the rest by making the food the MVP. Homemade pizzas fit the bill of fun food that the whole crowd will enjoy.

But don't let your crowd be armchair pizza chefs. Let them score their own personal best by preparing their own individual pizzas. Set up a "pizza bar" full of toppings. Shape the crust and let your guests layer on the toppings in endless ways to create their own winning combinations.

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The perfect pizza bar must be loaded with a variety of toppings to satisfy guests who prefer traditional pizzas - herbed tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni - as well as guests who prefer more unusual toppings. Allow guests to have fun and be creative. For those guests that are less confident about flavor combinations, make simple "menus" following the topping suggestions listed here and place them prominently on the pizza bar.

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Planning is the key to making game day easy on the host. For easy shopping, clip out the accompanying shopping list and purchase all ingredients up to a week in advance.

Refrigerated pizza crust is the basis for these fresh and fast individual pizzas. Vegetables can be sliced or chopped up to two days before the game and stored in airtight plastic bags or containers in your refrigerator. Other ingredients can also be purchased a week in advance. Freeze the meat and poultry until the day before the game. Once thawed, cook and slice and keep chilled until the party.

Organize the pizza bar to make preparation fun for your guests and for ease of cleanup. You will need several cookie sheets or pizza pans for baking the pizzas. Place these at the beginning of the bar along with the crust. Refrigerated pizza crust can be cut into quarters and shaped into squares or circles on the cookie sheets.

Place the sauces next to the crusts along with a few spoons or spatulas for spreading. Group together sauces, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Label any ingredients not easily recognizable by a novice cook, such as fresh herbs. As soon as the first sheet of pizzas is assembled, pop it into a hot oven. These individual pizzas take just about 10 minutes to bake, so it's a perfect halftime activity; you can even assemble a second batch before the teams come back onto the field.

Baking instructions




Lightly grease four cookie sheets or pizza pans. Sprinkle lightly with yellow cornmeal if desired. Open refrigerated dough. Unroll contents of each 10-ounce can onto a cookie sheet. Cut into quarters. Press each into 6-inch circle or square, pinching a rim of dough around the edges to form crust.

Top as desired.

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven 10 to 14 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.

Serves 8.

Pizza bar menu




America's Favorite:

Pizza sauce, pepperoni slices, shredded mozzarella cheese

Pizzeria-Style Pizza:

Pizza sauce, cooked, crumbled Italian sausage, shredded pizza double cheese.

Mushroom and Sage Woodland Pizza:

Portobello mushroom slices, shiitake mushroom slices, button mushroom slices, shredded six-cheese Italian blend, green onion slices, minced fresh or dried sage, fresh cracked black pepper.

Uptown Pepperoni Pizza:

Chopped plum tomatoes, yellow bell pepper slices, red onion slivers, fancy shredded Parmesan cheese, pepperoni slices, minced fresh or dried oregano leaves.

Three-Meat Pizza:

Pizza sauce, chopped Canadian-style bacon, cooked, crumbled Italian sausage, chopped onion, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices.

Chicken Fajita Pizza:

Salsa, cooked chicken breast slices, bell pepper strips, red onion slivers, shredded four-cheese Mexican blend.

Barbecued Chicken Pizza:

Barbecue sauce, cooked chicken breast slices, bell pepper slices, red onion slivers, shredded Cheddar cheese, minced fresh cilantro.

Spicy Tex-Mex Pizza:

Salsa, canned black beans, corn, bell pepper slices, shredded six-cheese zesty Mexican blend with spices, pepperoni slices.

Classic Cheese:

Chopped fresh plum tomatoes, shredded six-cheese Italian blend, minced fresh basil leaves.




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