The Pizza of Affliction


Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Ah yes. The Matzah Pizza.

Many gentiles know of Matzah, and that Jews eat it on Passover. However, even those that do know of Matzah and when it is consumed probably do not realize that Matzah is not just consumed during the Seder itself, but for seven days during the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread.

That means if you are an observant Jew, you are stuck with eating this stuff several days after the turkey and brisket leftovers have all been consumed.

While Matzo meal is used for a number of enjoyable culinary applications, such as the beloved Matzo Ball Soup, and Kugels, Matzot themselves don’t rate particularly high on the enjoyment scale on their own.

Oh, there’s Matzo Brei,  but at that point the physical properties of the shitty cracker in question have been completely transmuted into something resembling French Toast.

So Jews have been trying for an eternity to do something ELSE with Matzot. Sometime in the 20th century, American Jews got the idea of using  them  for half-assed salami sandwiches, PBJs and the like.

And then in the 50’s or the 60’s the Matzah Pizza came, which no sane pizza enthusiast would ever put in their mouth or even remotely call a Pizza. Especially since virtually all Matzah Pizzas were made with horrible processed jarred sauces which were Kosher for Passover knockoffs of stuff like RAGU or Pizza Quick.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Now, I’m not saying it is possible to make a Matzah Pizza that is even capable of tasting like an actual decent pizza. However, if we apply some foodie sensibility to the idea, perhaps we can re-engineer it into something you’d actually like eating.

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Matzah Pizza sauce simmering.

If we can get around to the fact that Matzah as the bread component essentially sucks, then we have to simply rely on the fact that it is a launch vehicle for the topping. Therefore, it is important that we center upon the actual flavor of the sauce than the “crust” itself.

First, we want to get ourselves some good canned tomatoes. My preference here is imported San Marzanos from Italy, but certainly if you’re orthodox and are staying strictly Kosher adherent I believe there are some decent canned tomatoes from Israel now. Just be sure it doesn’t have any added sugar or artificial junk in it (and certainly, not High Fructose Corn Syrup, lest not because of the fact that it is Kitniyot, but that stuff is absolutely awful). In fact I would stay away from anything that wasn’t just crushed tomatoes, period. You’ll need a 12-14oz can.

Next, you’ll want fresh garlic, good olive oil, and fresh basil, oregano and parsley. Chop up your garlic and your herbs, and set aside.

Heat up some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to low-medium heat and saute your garlic for a few minutes, just to get the essential oils out. Then crank up the heat to medium and pour in your crushed tomatoes. When the sauce starts to heat up, add approximately half of your chopped herbs, mix it up good, and put the burner on simmer. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. What you’re looking for here is a bit of tangyness, some acidic punch. Depending on the type of tomatoes you use, you’ll get more or less acidity in the sauce, so I like to boost it up a bit with a hit of Red Wine Vinegar. Taste again when the acidity is at a level you like.

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Next, you’ll want to spoon some of the simmered sauce over a Matzo. For Matzah Pizza, I would stick with plain rather than the flavored Matzos. Evenly distribute it and don’t load it up too much.

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Next, crumble up a small amount of your favorite cheese over the Matzo. Here I’m using a low-fat Cabot basil/tomato medium moisture mozzarella I bought from COSTCO. You could certainly use a medium-moisture grated Polly-O  mozz like a decent New York slice shop might have used 20 years ago but I think a fresh mozzarella would be a waste. Obviously, if you’re strictly observant you want to use a Kosher for Passover cheese, but your mileage may vary.

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Next, run the Matzo under the broiler setting of your toaster oven for about 3 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Remove from toaster, top with chopped fresh herbs, and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Consume immediately and serve with a nice green salad.

Chag Sameach.

8 Responses to The Pizza of Affliction

  1. vanderleun says:

    But… but… you left out the Pepperoni!

  2. vanderleun says:

    If it was tofu pepperoini could you then call this “The Parve Pizza?”

  3. Hillary says:

    This looks so great! I’m so sad our oven is being used for meat for the whole holiday and are toaster is retired for Passover. That leaves me to make microwave matzo pizza.

  4. rebecca says:

    nope–tofu isn’t kosher for passover!

  5. Paul says:

    I’m definitely a pizza snob and eat matzo pizzas to get my fix during passover. I also make a homemade tomato sauce very similar to yours with San Marzano tomatoes, but I really like Mario Batali’s basic tomato sauce recipe and generally follow it:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_22502,00.html

    It takes some time, as a good tomato sauce should, but it’s really quite easy. I recommend making extra and freezing it. The grated carrots are a great natural sweetener. Sometimes I use a bit less olive oil than he recommends.

  6. […] The Pizza of Affliction « Off The Broiler […]

  7. ppparent says:

    I bet you could use the pizza sauce as a dip for the Matzo, no? There are some good pizza sauce dip recipes out there.

    I came across a really yummy sounding Matzo product at MatzelToff.com Chocolate and toffee covered Matzo. Now we’re talking.

  8. I’ve been looking for a good pizza recipe, thanks! Really cool pictures too.

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