Get Creative with Homemade Pizza

Shaved asparagus on pizza? Oh, yes!

Topping a pizza is the ultimate in creative experimentation for me. I rarely plan the ingredients. It’s more of an enthusiastic rummaging through the refrigerator and pantry for inspiration.

The only thing you can count on with my pizzas is that there will be three very different kinds. One absolutely will have marinara, mozzarella and either salami or pepperoni.  That’s the “backup” that I know the kids will like. The other two? Usually quite random.

So what was this week’s inspiration? Asparagus! Seriously!!

A quick spin around the internet and I found a great Smitten Kitchen post about shaving asparagus for pizza. Just grab your peeler and gently “shave” the asparagus from end to tip. I knew I was onto something.

I also tried a new pizza sauce on the boys and it turned out to be even more popular straight out of the pan than on the pizza. Brian came home from work to have Ben enthusiastically shouting, “Dad, you gotta taste this!”  I have to admit that I LOVE when that happens.

Don’t been intimidated by making your own dough and pizza. It can be very fun and very good.

My crust recipe is very, very basic from a Rachel Ray magazine. Rachel’s directions are great and even include a few pictures of how to stretch the dough.

Best pizza dough trick I learned from Rachel was to preheat my baking sheet before cooking the pizza. I haven’t had a doughy middle for years.

The hardest part about making your own dough is remembering to start early enough to allow the yeast to do its magic.

The second hardest part is keeping enough flour on your hands so the dough isn’t sticking to you as you stretch it out.

Asparagus Topping Ingredients List

  • 1/3 of Rachel Ray’s pizza dough
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3-4 spears asparagus, shaved and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 8 slices dry, light salami, slivered


Place a large baking sheet into the oven and preheat to 500ºF.

On a sheet of parchment paper (the same size as the baking sheet), stretch the pizza dough to fit.

Brush some olive oil lightly over the entire crust and lightly sprinkle salt and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese.

In a small bowl, toss 2 Tbsp olive oil, asparagus shavings, 1/3 Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, green onions and salami pieces. Then spread mixture evenly across the pizza crust. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and gently slide the pizza and the parchment paper onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is golden.

Can't go wrong with a nice red sauce and pepperoni or salami.

Angie’s Pizza Sauce Ingredients List

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before spreading on your pizza.