Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pizza w/ Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Italian Sausage w/ Fennel, & Basil {food 'n flix}

I hesitate to put this out there.  But, since this month's chosen flick for Food 'n Flix was Eat Pray Love, I guess I'm gonna have to.  So.  Here goes.  I'm gonna say it.  Puttin' it out there.  I don't like this movie...or this book.  Eek!  Don't hate me.  I wanted to like it.  I expected to like it.  I mean...I'm a fan of chick flicks (and chick lit).  It has all the criteria to fit snugly into the categories of movies I love to watch at least once a year as a little getaway or girl time.  It has delicious food, cute guys, gorgeous settings, and a story line that I want to be great.  I want to covet Liz's life for a couple of hours.  But I don't.  I'm sure the book put me off the movie.  Which is fairly normal for me.  But in a different way.  Usually if I want to enjoy the movie, I can't read the book first because as you know, the movie rarely does the book justice.  So, I hesitated picking up the book first.  But, in true Heather form, I couldn't resist the book.  I could hear it whispering to me every time I walked by it at the library.  I gave in.
Much to my chagrin.  I guess it's not really fair for me to say that I didn't like the entire book since I couldn't actually get through the whole thing.  I really thought it tried too hard.  I found it pretentious.  Again, this is hard for me to write, because I don't enjoy dismissing anybody's hard work.  The words just sounded so scripted...so meant for a movie.  Me, Me, Me!  See what I did!  I find "look at me" stories hard to stomach in any medium or setting, though.  So basically what I'm trying to say is that it's possible I may have enjoyed the movie (which this post is supposed to be about) had I not tried to read the book first.  But since I couldn't disconnect, I'll never know.  I mean, how can you not adore Julia Roberts?  And I'm a sucker for the crinkles in the corner of James Franco's eyes when he smiles.  And pizza in Naples?  Yes, please!

There were, however a few scenes here and there that I enjoyed.  I enjoyed Elizabeth's simple breakfast plate of egg, bread, asparagus, and tomato on the floor with a newspaper with the Italian sun streaming in.  I enjoyed the supporting cast of characters such as Ketut, Richard, Wayan and Tutti.  I have a few favorite quotes such as "God dwells within you, as you" and "Not too much God, not too much selfish...otherwise, lose balance" and "ruin is the road to transformation".  I just don't find myself with a craving to watch this film again.  I did watch it when it first came out on dvd, then again this month so that I could refresh my memory and write this post.  To each their own, right?
As far as inspiration to head into the kitchen, I was stuck on the pizza.  I'm sure you don't really need a recipe for pizza, so I won't give you one.  I'll just give you the method and ingredients that inspired me that day.

non-recipe for Pizza w/ Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Italian Sausage with Fennel, & Basil
yield: 1 pizza

pizza dough (homemade or storebought...your choice)
olive oil
roasted garlic
loose Italian sausage
fennel seeds
crushed red chile flakes
mozzarella cheese
fresh basil

Cook sausage in a pan until done, adding a good amount of fennel seed and crushed red chiles toward the end of cooking.  Drain fat and set aside.

Pat or roll dough out into desired shape.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with desired amount of cheese.  Scatter sausage and however many tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves as you wish.  Bake in preheated over (~400° F for 12-15 minutes-ish).  Scatter torn basil over top.  Enjoy!
I know are going to be some people who vehemently disagree with my opinion on this (and I'm okay with that).  I'd love to know your thoughts...

Eat Pray Love is the January '12 Food 'n Flix pick hosted at The Law Student's Cookbook.  Posts inspired by this flick are due on the 28th of January, so you still have time to cook something up and share your thoughts on the film.
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