Friday, February 10, 2012

#54. Master all my mum's Italian recipes - PIZZA

My Homemade Pizza [image by Zahara Dessert]
My parents are from a city called Trieste, in the North of Italy (near Venice).
The food in Trieste is unlike any other area in Italy. You are much more likely to find polenta, sauerkraut and bread dumplings on a restaurant menu, rather than the stereotypical Italian dishes such as pasta and pizza.

However having said that, my mother still makes amazing pasta dishes and on special occasions she also makes gnocchi and pizza.

Since #54 on my Life List is 'Master all my mum's Italian recipes' I thought I would start by making Pizza.

I have been making home made Pizza for a while now and I thought I would share with you my recipe.

Some of this recipe is based on my mum's, the rest is an amalgamation of other recipes I have tried and tested along the way.

Pizza by Zahara Dessert
Serves 2-4 people (with left overs)
You can double the quantities of the Pizza Dough if you want to make more

Tomato Salsa
2/3 cloves of sliced garlic
1 can of peeled tomatoes
4 or 5 torn leaves of fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grilled Grape Tomatoes
1 punnet of Grape Tomatoes (about 350grams) (large Cherry Tomatoes will suffice also)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Pizza Dough
500g pizza flour (00)
1/2 tablespoon fine salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
about 320ml lukewarm water
Bocconcini or Buffalo Mozzarella
Anchovies (optional)
Sliced mushrooms
Sliced chorizo sausage
Black olives
Dried Chili flakes (optional)
Add any other toppings you fancy

(I know my grandmother would turn in her grave, but I don't mind a good ham and pineapple pizza!) So the toppings are based on your own personal taste

Grilled Grape Tomatoes
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius
Slice the tomatoes in half
Place the tomatoes and oil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and combine with a spoon, so the oil covers all the tomatoes
Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking tray, which has been lined with baking paper.
Roast for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes are shriveled.
Set aside

The Grape tomatoes before they went into the oven  [image by Zahara Dessert]

Increase oven to 230 degrees Celsius

Tomato Salsa
Heat the olive oil and sliced garlic in a heavy based pan.
Don't let the garlic burn.
When the garlic is sizzling, add a can of peeled tomatoes and the torn Basil leaves.
Add salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer some more.
Stir occasionally.
It should take about 15/20 minutes for the sauce to reduce.
Taste to make sure there is enough seasoning.
Let it cool and set aside until you need to use it on the pizza.

The tomato salsa for the base [image by Zahara Dessert]
Pizza Dough
Sieve the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
In a small jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the warm water and leave for a few minutes.
Pour the liquid into the well.
Bring the flour in gradually from the sides and mix it all together.
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.

Jamie Oliver has a good step by step guide to making pizza dough here
The dough when it is resting [image by Zahara Dessert]
You can either use the dough immediately, or wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge (or freezer) until required.
The dough in portions [image by Zahara Dessert]
Roll out the portions of dough. Try to make about 20cm circles (I just made sure it fit on my pizza tray).

Try to roll the dough out as thinly as possible. If it is too thick, the dough tastes bready.

Bake the pizza's using a pizza stone if possible, this makes the pizza taste that little bit better.

The dough [image by Zahara Dessert].
Note: try to roll it out as thin as you possibly can.

The Toppings
You can add any ingredients that tickle your fancy.
I used what you see below [anchovies, mushrooms, chorizo, olives, bocconcini]. I also added capers, fresh basil, chili flakes and the roasted grape tomatoes I made earlier (recipe above).

Some of the ingredients I used. I normally would have used Paesanella Buffalo Mozzarella, however I couldn't find it at my local supermarket [image by Zahara Dessert]

 Add a layer of the home made tomatoes salsa to the pizza base.
Add as much sauce as you like [image by Zahara Dessert]
Then add your desired toppings.

Use any toppings of your choice [image by Zahara Dessert]

It is up to you if you want to add Anchovies [image by Zahara Dessert]

Bake your pizza's in the over for about 15 minutes, or until the pizza looks cooked.

If using Buffalo Mozzarella, you might want to add the cheese after the pizza has come out of the oven, the residual heat melts the cheese slightly.

The final product [image by Zahara Dessert]
Let me know if you make it and how your pizza turns out


Thanks for visiting. Comments are very much appreciated!