Just a handful of reasons why “the Great” is attached to this man’s name:
1. He was a Benedictine monk who had NO desire whatsoever to be a higher-up in the Church, let alone pope. He even hid from the people! But, when hiding in a cave, Gregory was found because a column of light shone upon his hiding spot! God really, really knew that the Church needed Greg at the time.
2. He was strict and uncompromising, readily purging those who had no business being in the Church (something to give us hope today?). Really fitting, given that his name in Greek means “watchful, alert.”
3. He was the first pope to send missionaries to Britain.
4. He adopted Latin in place of Greek in the Vulgate; so, he’s one of the reasons why Latin is the language of the Church!
5. Gregorian chant, anyone?
The big tip with this recipe:
1. Having a pizza seemed fitting, and I had planned to do a Greco-Roman one, given #4 above, but my husband pointed out that Gregory was *great* and did all kinds of things…so why not have a pizza with all the things? (Anything for hubby to have green chile and Italian sausage on his pizza, amiright?)
But, I had to agree with him. Make your pizza as great as you want to! Here’s what we did for ours, because it was one of those evenings where easy was going to win:
Trader Joe’s pizza sauce
Trader Joe’s pizza dough
2 cups of four cheese blend
On half the pizza:
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup feta (topped after cooking)
On other half of pizza:
1/2 cup sausage
1/2 green chile
1/4 cup corn
1. Take pizza dough out of refrigerator at least 30 minutes (60 is better!) in advance.
2. Preheat oven to from 475 degrees
3. Use a teensy bit of olive oil on your baking sheet, and then stretch dough out on sheet pan.
4. Spread pizza sauce evenly; leave room for crust.
5. Scatter your toppings.
6. Bake in lowest rack of oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us!