Friday, 14 August 2015


Here are some pizza recipes I posted on my previous blog from January 2010 till February 2015.

Pizza Margherita
How to make your pizza at home
I usually buy ready-made pizzas at the supermarket and bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  This is very handy on our busy weekends, especially when friends and family crowd the house.  But from time to time I like making my own pizza at home.
Our favourite pizza is Pizza Margherita (a name given in honour of the Queen Margherita of Savoy).  It is very simple because for the topping you only need tomato sauce and mozzarella, but if the ingredients are natural and well balanced it is the best.
Actually you can top your pizza with whatever you like, from sliced mushrooms to ham, prosciutto, vegetables, meat, sliced potatoes with rosemary and oregano (another favourite one) and even fruit.
For the dough for four people (3-4 pizzas) you need:
500 g of strong white bread flour, 2 tsp of bread yeast, 1 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 300 ml of warm water.
In a large bowl mix the flour, olive oil, salt and yeast.  Stir in the water and mix. Knead the dough for about ten minutes.  Cover it with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 2-3 hours.  It should double in size.
In the meantime prepare the tomato sauce in a pan, pouring two tbsp of olive oil, 500 g of tomato passata, one peeled, crushed clove of garlic and one tsp of salt, oregano and basil.  Add water if it is too thick.  Let it simmer for half an hour at least.
When the dough is ready divide it in three or four parts, rolling each part into a round the size you like using a rolling pin.  Set them on a greased baking tray.  Spread on some tomato sauce and a bit of olive oil.  Bake for ten minutes at 230°C.  When almost ready, add plenty of grated mozzarella, more oil and one or two leaves of basil.  Bake for another five minutes.
Sometimes I fancy smaller pizzas: we call them pizzette and they are appetizing titbits.  I make them by cutting the rolled out dough into small rounds using the top of a glass, then I season and bake them in the same way as Pizza Margherita.  They are yummy!

Easter pizza
In my family at Easter and in spring time we usually make different kinds of pizzas with cheese and/or vegetable fillings, or in the shape of various breads.  It is not a typical pizza with toppings, but we use the pizza dough (or something similar) to make a sort of pie or mix it with different kinds of cheese to make a specially tasty bread...but we still call it pizza.
I am going to post a few examples in the following weeks.  Here is the first one, a pizza we always make at Easter.  My mother started the tradition, struggling a bit at first with the rising stages but then it came out perfectly: a treat I tasted again and again during my childhood and teens at Eastertime.
You need: 500 g of strong flour, 3 eggs, 250 ml of warm milk and water, 150 g of parmigiano, 100 g of pecorino, 7 g of dry bread yeast and half a tsp of salt.
Mix the dry yeast with 400 g of flour, add the warm milk and water mixture and knead the dough.  Let it rise in a warm place covered by a damp tea towel for two hours.  In another bowl mix the ground parmigiano and pecorino with the eggs, salt and the rest of the flour.  Knead both doughs together.  Let the composite dough rise again in a warm place covered by a damp teatowel for two more hours.  When the dough has risen put it in a greased tin and bake for 45 minutes at 180° C.  It is great with prosciutto, salami, ham and boiled eggs: a typical Easter breakfast.

Pizza with ricotta and salami
This pizza is actually a sort of pie (or roulade: see below).
For the dough you need: 500 g of self-rising flour, one tbsp of melted butter, 2 eggs, half a tsp of salt, half a glass of warm water.
For the filling you need: 250 g of ricotta, 100 g of mild cheese or cheddar, 100 g of parmigiano, 2 eggs, 150 g of salami and salt and pepper.

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead it.  Let it rest in a warm place for an hour covered with a tea towel.
Grate the hard cheeses and mix them with the ricotta, the eggs and the salami cut into small pieces.  Add salt and pepper.
Roll out two sheets of dough.  Line a greased oven tray with one of them, pour the filling in it and cover it with the other sheet of dough.  Alternatively you can roll out only one sheet of dough, spread the filling on it and roll it up.  Bake the pizza for 45 minutes (one hour for the roulade type), 150° C.

Pizza with ricotta and spinach
This is another typical Spring-time pizza to enjoy on the lawn with friends and a glass of good white wine.
For the dough you need: 400 g of self-raising flour, 100 g of melted butter, 3 eggs, half a tsp of salt and 2 tbsp of warm milk.

For the filling you need: 500 g of cooked spinach, 500 g of ricotta, 3 eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper and 4 tbsp of grated parmigiano.
Mix all the ingredients for the dough and let it rest in a warm place for one hour covered with a tea towel.
In the meantime mix the spinach with the ricotta, beaten eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper and parmigiano.
When the dough is ready roll it out into two sheets, line a greased tin with one of them and spread the ricotta and spinach mixture on it, then cover with the other sheet of dough. Bake for 45 minutes at 150° C.

Pizza with spinach
This is a rather laborious method as it should be done using puff pastry.  You can buy it ready made or have a go with the following recipe.
For the puff pastry you need two parts of dough:
·        first part: 200 g of plain flour, 150 g of strong flour, 250 ml of cold water;
·        second part: 75 g of flour, 250 g of butter cut in chunks.
Mix together the ingredients of the second part,  roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper and cool it in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Mix the ingredients of the first part of the dough and roll it out.  Cover it with the second part of the dough and fold the first sheet of dough over the second. Roll it out.  Fold the sheet of dough into three, forming a dough three layers deep.  Let it rest in the fridge for 45 minutes wrapped in a sheet of baking paper.  Roll it out and fold in three layers again, then let it rest in the fridge for another 45 minutes.  Repeat the procedure a third time.   After the last time roll it out, fold it into three layers and let it rest in the fridge for one hour.  You can either use it straight away or freeze it.

For the filling you need: one kilo of cooked spinach, 50 g of anchovies, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 10 pitted green olives, 10 pitted black olives and one tbsp of capers.
Prepare the puff pastry and let it rest.  Boil the spinach quickly in hot water with salt and strain it.  Warm the oil in a frying pan and add the anchovies, then the spinach and stir.  Let it simmer for a few minutes; chop the olives into pieces and add them to the spinach together with the capers.  Stir, and simmer for ten minutes.
Halve the puff pastry and roll out two sheets, line a greased baking tin with one of them, pour the spinach mix onto it and cover it with the second sheet of pastry.  Bake for 45 minutes at 150° C.

Pizza with pancetta
This pizza looks like a cake or a round loaf, ideal for a picnic or a party.
You need: 400 g of strong flour, 2tbsp of olive oil, a glass of warm water (about 20 tbsp), 50 g of melted butter, 7 g of dried yeast, half a tbsp of salt, 3 tbsp of parmigiano, 2 eggs and 200 g of diced pancetta or chopped sausage.
Mix the flour with the oil, melted butter and yeast.  Add the water, salt, the eggs and parmigiano.  Fry the pancetta or sausage and add to the mixture. Knead it and let it rest in a warm place covered with a damp teatowel for 2-3 hours.  Then knead it again and set it in a greased baking tin.  Bake for 45 minutes, 150° C.
A treat for warm weekends...hopefully coming soon.

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