Today is the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost. Pentecost Sunday occurs fifty days after Easter Sunday. And Easter Sunday happens on the first Sunday of a full moon after March 21, the spring equinox. Oh so complicated. In simple terms; Sacred Heart is 19 days after Pentecost.
Now that we have established when it is, let’s talk for a moment about what it is. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus among the faithful is a devotion to a love of God as symbolized by the heart of Jesus. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most popular feasts among Catholics. Once upon a time, every Catholic home had a picture of Christ exposing his Sacred Heart. This image of Jesus comes from the visions of Christ granted to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Margaret Mary was born in eastern France is 1647. She was humble, patient, open to criticism and correction, yet her superiors considered her clumsy and somewhat slow. Though Margaret Mary had difficulty meditating in the formal way expected of the sisters in her order, on December 27, 1674, Margaret Mary experienced an apparition of Christ. Jesus showed her His Sacred Heart, a symbol of His often rejected love for humanity. Jesus then asked Saint Margaret Mary to promote a devotion to His Sacred Heart through frequent Communion and an hour of prayer each Thursday night in memory of His agony in Gethsemane.
Margaret Mary died in 1690. Her gentleness and patience convinced many people of the genuineness of the apparitions. Yet it wasn’t until 1765 that the feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated officially in France. Almost 100 years later, in 1856, Pope Pius IX, at the request of the French bishops, extended the feast to the universal Church. It is celebrated on the day requested by our Lord-the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, 19 days after Pentecost Sunday. In many parishes and private homes, a Novena is prayed on the nine days leading up the the Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Growing up, I remember seeing the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our home, the homes of most of my friends and in the classrooms of our catechism school.
To celebrate this most Sacred Day, I’ve made a delicious Pizza of Caramelized Onions and sautéed Mushrooms. The splash of white wine and slivers of red onion, this simple pizza seems fitting for this simple feast.
Caramelized Onion Cheese Pizza
2-1/4 cups Flour
3-1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/8 cup White Wine
1/4 cup or more Warm Water
1 teaspoons Salt
Cornmeal for dusting
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead until the dough is smooth and combined.
Note: If the dough appears too dry, add a little more wine and olive oil, a splash at a time. You want it to bind together without being too wet.
Form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic while you make the pizza sauce and toppings.
Tomato Pizza Sauce
1 (28 oz) can Canned Whole Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Drain whole canned tomatoes, reserving liquid
Peel and mince the garlic. Heat oil in large heavy pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes breaking them up into small chunks as they warm. Add tomato paste, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
Note: If sauce becomes too dry, add a little of the reserved tomato liquid, a tablespoon or so at a time.
Remove from heat. Add salt, oregano, Italian Seasoning and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust as desired.
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Toppings
1 cup White Mushrooms
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 White Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean and slice mushroom. Set aside. Cut onions in half from root to tip. Reserve half of each onion for another use. Peel remaining halves, then slice into slivers and set aside. Peel garlic, set aside.
You’ll notice in the shot above of the ingredients, everything is in bags. That’s because I made the dough, the sauce and prepped the toppings to the point of cooking. We had errands to run before supper. Everything held beautifully until time to finish and assemble perfectly.
Melt butter with oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Scatter onion slivers in the skillet. Sauté until just beginning to carnalize.
Press garlic over the caramelized onions. Cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble: Place a large piece of parchment paper on a large cutting board. Dust paper with cornmeal. Roll out pizza dough to about 1/2-inch larger than pizza pan. Sprinkle cornmeal over the crust. Place pizza pan up-side-down over the dough. Lift cutting board, flip over, remove parchment paper. Tuck excess dough around the side to form a thick crust edge just inside the pan.
Cover crust loosely with foil to prevent edge from browning too quickly. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes to brown bottom of the pizza dough. Check crust, cook a few minutes longer without sauce if needed.
Remove crust from oven. Pour pizza sauce over the crust, brush out to edge. Spread Mozzarella Cheese over the sauce. Scatter the caramelized onion mixture and mushrooms over the cheese. Finish with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until edge is golden brown, cheese has melted and the crust has finished cooking
Let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.