For many families, Mother’s Day means eating out. After all, most mothers do not want to spend their special day cooking (or cleaning up!) a big fancy meal, and would rather be treated to a decadent dinner or brunch prepared by someone else.
But according to Donatella Arpaia, chef at Prova Pizzabar in Grand Central and a regular chef on the Food Network, there’s nothing a hardworking mother appreciates more than a homemade meal — cooked and cleaned up by her very own family.
As for what to serve, she has a pretty radical idea: pizza. Not just any pizza, of course, but pizza that has been “elevated” with ingredients like caviar (“the more expensive, the better”), truffle oil, crème fraîche, artisanal salts, piennolo tomatoes from Mount Vesuvius, robiola cheese or buffalo mozzarella. For those who want to serve a breakfast pizza, she recommends using eggs and truffles.
“I actually love to take things like pizza, where you expect it to be very casual, and to place them on beautiful plates and to cut them in a more interesting way and just kind of elevate the experience,” she says, reminding those cooking for mom this weekend that the presentation of the meal is just as important as the food itself.
And don’t even think of throwing those prime ingredients on top of a store bought crust, which Arpaia calls “kind of scary”; instead, she shares her special homemade pizza dough recipe with us below, as well as a recipe for her signature “Mom-Osa” cocktail.
As for dessert? “All mom’s love chocolate, so finish strong,” Arpaia advises. She recommends treating mom to some chocolates from Vosges Chocolat. After all, “Mother’s Day is a day mom can treat herself and be bad.”
Donatella Arpaia’s “Mom-Osa” cocktail recipe
• 2 parts chilled Brut Champagne
• 1 part Orange Juice
• Pour orange juice into a flute glass. Top with MARTINI Asti and garnish with strawberry.
Donatella Arpaia’s Pizza Dough
• 2 3/4 teaspoons fresh yeast or active dry yeast
• 4 1/8 cups fresh water
• 2 3/4 tablespoons sea salt
• 12 1/3 cups type “00” flour
• Olive oil
• Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until the yeast is creamy, about 1 minute. Stir until the yeast dissolves. In a large bowl add the sea salt, then the yeast mixture and the flour; stir until a soft dough forms.
• Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Lightly coat another large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap and store someplace warm; let rise until it doubles in size, about 6 hours.
• Shape the dough into 20-ounce ball. Place the ball on a nonstick surface or parchment paper, and then cover with plastic wrap, allowing room for the dough to expand. Let the dough rise until doubled, 8-12 hours.
• Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Your homemade dough is now ready to be baked. Remove dough and allow it to come to temperature for 45 minutes.
• Preheat oven to as high as it can go for 15 minutes. Take sheet pan tray and spread thin layer of oil all over. Put some flour on your hand and stretch dough on table, then transfer into tray and press the dough further into shape of pan. Then drizzle dough with about 2 tablespoons olive oil.