Saturday, 4 December 2010

Pizza - Healthy, Easy and Delicious!

Mmn, Pizza! I absolutely adore Pizza, even more since travelling in Italy in July. The kind of pizzas that I like are the Italian, thin kind with lots of tomato sauce and not smothered in cheese like American styles. I make mine out of wholemeal flour and use really good mozzarella cheese and quality ingredients. 
Here's the simple recipe, you can add whatever toppings you like:
Ingredients - (makes 2 good sized pizzas)
For the base - About 300g of wholemeal plain flour (not that sure on the quantity, I just chuck it in the bowl and add more if needed)
1/2 sachet of yeast
About a tablespoon of olive oil
Pinch of Salt
Tepid Water
Chopped fresh basil
For the sauce - Olive oil
1 tin tomato purée
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
Clove of garlic, crushed
Fresh basil
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Toppings - Mozzarella (I like either Sainsbury's taste the difference or Sainsbury's organic or if I'm feeling extravagant, M&S have some great options or the local deli), Red Onion, Mushrooms, Prosciutto/Parma Ham, Asparagus, Courgette etc...
Preheat oven to about 200c.
To make the dough: Mix the flour and yeast in a bowl, then pour in some olive oil and a tiny bit of salt and chopped basil if using. Then very gradually add the tepid water and keep stirring until all combined. Hard to say how much water, if you put too much and it's too sticky then add more flour and vice versa. No need to prove. Then roll it out to your chosen thickness, I usually do about 1 1/2 cm thick and put on a tray (I find the pizza trays with holes in best as they don't stick, also don't worry if the dough is rough, it's supposed to be rustic) and pop into the preheated oven about 5minutes before topping to help them rise a bit and shrink away from the tray.
For the sauce: Fry off the onion and garlic in a pan and add the basil, then add the purée and stir until it starts to blacken. Then pour in the chopped tomatoes and reduce the heat, add a splash of balsamic. 
Then assemble the pizzas with half the sauce on each of the bases, add the cheese and toppings and cook for about 12minutes until the cheese is bubbling and toppings just crisp.

The Pizzas are also really good if you have a group to feed. You can make them in batches and serve with lots of salad. We built a pizza oven so it's great fun in the summer but to be honest, they taste just as good in the normal oven!

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