Monday, 20 August 2012

Pizza Time

As well as being a crowd-pleaser, pizza is very easy to make and really doesn't take that long. You can even buy ready-made bases if you want, though I prefer to make the lot from scratch. For an extra 15 minutes of work it's more than worth it.

For the base, I stand by Delia's recipe which is scrumptious and has yet to go wrong for me. The quantities are also easy to adapt - for example, our round baking tray (you could use a rectangular one!) is 12" rather than 10", so instead of 6oz flour I used 9oz, and so on. Also, I used half white flour and half wholemeal, just to make it a bit healthier and less heavy.

I basically roll it out as much as possible, then put it in the middle of the tin and punch it into shape. Works for me.
For the tomato sauce, I adapted a recipe from 'The Vegetarian Student Cookbook' by Hamlyn, which is as follows:

- 3tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- pinch of sugar
- generous sprinkle dried oregano
- salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Chop the onions and garlic as finely or roughly as you like, and then add. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the oregano, and any other herbs you fancy. Cook for another few minutes, until the onions are beginning to caramelise slightly.
2. Add the tomatoes, vinegar*, sugar and seasoning. Turn up the heat (or, if you have an annoying electric hob like we did in halls last year, have another ring already heated up so you can switch between the two) and simmer. You're looking to reduce it all by about half to get a good thick sauce.

*When I made this last, I used a glass of red wine and a splash of balsamic instead of the red wine vinegar, partially because that was all we had but also because I thought it would give it more depth. 

This recipe makes enough sauce for 4 hungry people and is more than enough for a pizza, so put any you don't use into a tupperware box and put in the fridge/freezer to have with some pasta at a later date. Two meals in one. You're welcome.

Now, toppings. You really can use anything you like. For mine I had red and yellow pepper (chopped and dry-fried for 5 minutes), fresh basil, whole cherry tomatoes, grated mozzarella, half a packet of soft goats cheese and lashings of green pesto. 

Tell me that doesn't make your mouth water. You're lying.

Bake at 230°C for about 30 minutes. It's hard to judge the time purely because it depends on how many toppings you use - the more toppings, the longer it'll take to cook. Keep an eye on it: when it's ready the crust should be golden, the tomatoes should be splitting and the cheese should be bubbling. 

Leave it on the tray to cool for a couple of minutes, then cut and serve up. We had it with a green salad, but potato wedges or cous cous would be scrumptious.

I'm admittedly not the best at slicing it up. But still, LOOK at it

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