Thursday, January 13, 2011


"I'm in love. I'm having a relationship with my pizza."

One of my favourite movie (food) scenes ever is from 'eat pray love' where Liz and Sofi are eating pizza in napoli.

One of the only things I regret about my time in italy was that i didnt eat MORE pizza. Pizza was the first thing I ate, and we had a massive pizza one night in venice (it was about 60cm diameter) but because we were going so flat out, we only had time for two meals, breakfast (which was always pastries and fruit) and then lunner (lasagna, pasta, pizza or antipasto). Considering how much amazing food there was and how little time we spent there I always look back and feel a bit cheated.

To make up for this, I love to make pizza at home. I make my own base, and usually make two pizza from it...both of which I have put the recipies down here for.

So take the time to disminish the guilt, thank the italians, and revel in one of the best food invented....


our first italian pizza...

1 tspn sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tbspn yeast
3 cups of flour
3 tbspns oil
2 tspns salt

In a large bowl, place boiling water and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
Add the yeast and stir. 
Leave to froth for about 15 minutes.
Add the flour, oil and salt.
Use a spoon to roughly combine ingredients, then get your hands in there!
Combine all ingredients in the bowl, and make sure you give the dough a good knead (fold and push...may need to take it out of the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface).
You may need to add more flour or water. The dough ball should be smooth, and slightly sticky, but not leaving residue on your hand when you poke it with a clean finger.
Cover the dough with a plastic bag and leave in a warm spot to double in size.
This can take 30-60min depending on how hot it is. Full sun is ok, but if it's a rainy/cold day, ontop of the hot water system is always good. 

You can always rise it in the microwave (I haven't done this before, but apparently you cook 10 sec on high, stand 10 sec, cook 10 sec).

Once the dough has risen, lightly flour a flat surface, split the dough into two balls and roll them out to fit a pizza tin.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

Pesto Pizza (vegetarian):

2 tbspn pesto
1-2 handful of mozzarella cheese
1-2 artichoke hearts
2 tspns black olives (sliced preferably)
2 tspns capers
3-4 sundried tomatoes sliced
black pepper

Place the pesto ontop of one of the prepared pizza doughs. 
Spread evenly, out to about 0.5cm from the edge.
Place the cheese ontop of the pesto. Don't get too close to the edge or it will spill over when cooking (mess!!! bad!!)
Distribute the artichoke hearts, black olives, capers and sundried tomatoes across the pizza - more flavour = more ingredients. 
Sprinkle pepper overtop.
Beware these ingredients are quite tasty. I do it by sight, but I put guestimate amounts into the recipe :)

before cooking

Tomato Pizza (non-vego):

2 tbspn tomato paste (raguletto napolitana I use - leftover can be used for spag bol)
1-2 handfulls mozzarella cheese
1 tomato sliced thinly
1 small green capsicum sliced
4 rashers shortcut bacon (and get rid of excess fat!)

Place the tomato paste on the prepared base and spread, to about 0.5cm from the edge.
Place the cheese ontop of the tomato paste. Don't get too close to the edge or it will spill over when cooking (mess!!! bad!!)
Place the tomatoes, capsicum and bacon evenly over the pizza.
Add a sprinkle of pepper to taste.

before cooking

Cook both pizza in the oven (on fan bake if you can) for about 20 minutes. Swap the pizzas around (from top to bottom shelf) after about 10 minutes.

Serve with a fresh garden salad!

Add salami to the pesto pizza for a bit of a kick. You can also use bocconchini instead of mozzarella, just slice it thinly and distribute it evenly.
The less bacon/cheese and more veges you use, the healthier it is!
Add pineapple to the tomato pizza for a hawiian twist.
Add mushrooms to both the pizzas.
Add 1/2 tspn chilli to the tomato paste for a kick.
If you have small children, divide the large dough ball into 1/3 and 2/3. Use the 1/3 to make a thinner pizza base for the adults, and on another larger (rectangle) tray, make three small pizza bases. Allow the kids to put their own toppings on!

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