Everyone knows EVOO is healthy. The phytochemicals in olives, which protect you from disease, are vulnerable to heat; “extra- virgin” oils are processed with minimal heat, so nutrients are preserved. (Same goes for EVOO labeled “first cold-pressed.”)
But heat isn’t the only enemy of nutrients (and flavor). Time also takes a toll. “Buying extra-virgin is good, but making sure it’s fresh is even more important,” says Dan Flynn, head of the UC Davis Olive Center, a leading olive oil research facility. “The ‘best before’ date should be at least one year out to ensure that the oil is still tasty and rich in good-for-you compounds.”
From our September 2012: Italian Issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray
Making your own dough is great, but not if it delays dinner. Use our three store-bought picks for pie on the fly!
THIN: Mama Mary’s Thin & Crispy Pizza Crusts
These thin crusts with a brick-oven flavor stayed crisp even when we piled on the toppings. ($4.99 for 2 crusts)
THICKER: Schwan’s Starter Crust
This reminded us of a slice straight from a pizza parlor, with a crunchy, sweet-earthy taste. ($7.24 for 2 crusts)
THICKEST: Boboli Original Pizza Crust
After just 10 minutes in the oven, this crust got puffy and deliciously chewy—without being too doughy. ($4.59 for 1 crust)
From the September 2012: Italian Issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray
CRAZY GOOD ITALIAN
By Mike Isabella ($35)
What do you get when you cross a Top Chef All-Star with an Italian-American childhood? Isabella’s first cookbook, which includes family traditions (check out Grandma’s Potato Gnocchi) and the chef’s own creations (remember that pepperoni sauce from Top Chef?). It’s a mix that totally says delizioso.
From our September “Italian Issue” of Every Day with Rachael Ray
The latest “it” pizza—called the montanara—is hitting pizza joints across the country. Derived from a Neapolitan recipe, the pie stars soft, fluffy dough that’s briefly oil-fried before being topped with relatively minimal sauce and cheese and a few leaves of basil, then finished in the oven. The result is a crust that’s chewy, light, oh-so-slightly crunchy—and more or less impossible to resist.
From the September 2012 “Italian Issue” of Every Day with Rachael Ray