Tag Archives: Pizza

Food related stuff I’ve spotted on the Intertubes V

Looking for songs about food can take you to interesting places, so remember kids eat your vegetables! 😉

Possibly the best design ever for a pizza oven

For a gadget geek like me I have to say this is quite possibly the coolest kitchen gadget ever I wonder if I could get one for a product test. LOL

Now it’s only really since starting in college that I’ve become interested in baking but it’s amazing just how far you can take a cake.

And once again I’m going to leave the last word to our crazy friends in the USA and their love of the state fair has brought us some truly horrendous “food stuffs” in 2010. Check out the top ten here.

Your help needed!

Chef Factor is now in full swing and the public voting has begun, please pop over to my entry here and give me your vote. Also, please feel free to “recommend” to your friends and family that they too support me with a vote. Thanks!

The most authentic Italian pizza

September 15th, 2010 will live in my memory as the day I ate the most authentic Italian pizza. We (Elly and I) were on holiday in Italy, staying in Pompei we decided to grab a train into Naples.

A random street in Naples
A random street in Naples

We were being typical tourists, wandering round the city without any real direction when we decided to grab some lunch.

Naples is the home of the pizza and the restaurant that first served pizza still exists. We had done some research before we left Ireland and knew from literally thousands of reviews that this restaurant was to be avoided as it has become a tourist trap, with a lot of reviewers claiming they were totally ripped off.

Instead we were looking for “Da Michele” which is said to serve the best pizza in the world, by thousands of online reviews.

We got our bearings and headed towards where we thought “Da Michele” was located and as soon as we rounded the corner onto the correct street there it was, with about twenty people standing around outside. We walked inside and were given ticket number 75 as we heard ticket 56 being called. We prepared for a long wait…

Mercifully the wait was only about twenty minutes and we were directed inside to a table which we shared with 2 hungry locals. The menu is quite short, only two types of pizza in different sizes and a selection of drinks.

We ordered one of each and sat in for what I thought would be a bit of a wait. To pass the time, I filmed one of the staff making pizzas right behind Elly’s head. You can tell how happy she was to be asked to slide down in her seat to give me a better view :)

Yup that short clip was two pizzas going from dough ball to fifteen inch pizza base, without a rolling pin in sight. Maybe if I was doing it all day every day for a while I might be able to manage one in twice the time.

Da Michele Menu
The full menu

Dressing, cooking and serving time was at most another five minutes. Our pizzas were served so quickly to our table, from a red hot wood fired stone oven, that we had to wait almost as long for the pizzas to cool and set as we did for the order.

The pizzas themselves were beyond description, mere words can not do the bread or the topping any justice. I was so enthralled by the process I forgot to take a picture. In a way though I’m kind of glad I didn’t because if you saw how simply they were dressed you would not believe how great they tasted. This was one of those occasions when the sight and taste senses have an argument and taste wins by landslide.

So in lieu of a picture of our pizzas, here’s one of the queue as we left.

The queue as we left
The queue as we left

Oh and you may hear more about “Da Michele” if you happen to see “Eat Pray Love” as according to a poster on the door, Julia Roberts filmed a scene there 😉

Your help needed!

Chef Factor is now in full swing and the public voting has begun, please pop over to my entry here and give me your vote. Also, please feel free to “recommend” to your friends and family that they too support me with a vote. Thanks!

Recipe: Pastry “Pizza”

Pastry Pizza
Pastry Pizza

Ingredients;

1 packet of puff pastry
5 – 6 tomatoes, as ripe as possible, diced roughly with the majority of the seeds removed
10 – 12 black olives, finely chopped
Shredded Parma ham (or other dried meat)
Mini mozzarella balls (or shredded mozz)
Handful of basil leaves, roughly torn up
Strong cheese, such as Red Leicester or vintage cheddar, finely grated
Fresh rocket (or oregano, thyme or similar)
Plain flour
Vegetable oil

Serves 2 as a main course, 4-6 as a snack/starter


Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Flour your worktop well and roll out the pastry to fit the size of a large baking tray. Place it carefully on the baking tray and brush all over with the vegetable oil.

Dress the pastry to 1 centimetre from the edge with your toppings, starting with the tomatoes, then moving onto the olives, basil, parma ham and mozzarella. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edge of the pastry is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, cut into large slices and sprinkle with the rocket before serving.

Recipe: Pizza Base revisited

A naked uncooked Pizza base

Ingredients;

1kg of Farina Tipo 00 Flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 x 7g packets of dried yeast
1 tablespoon of honey
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
625ml of tepid water (tepid = 2 parts cold to one part boiling)
1 handful of cornmeal

Makes 6-8 Pizza bases


One of the earliest recipes I published on NotJunkFood was for pizza bases, that recipe is a good recipe to use if you do not have access to pizza/pasta flour (also known as farina tipo 00). Thanks to Roma, Superquinn and Dunnes Stores, farina has become much more widely available in Ireland recently and as a result I have had the chance to experiment with my original recipe and I’m happy to say that the following is my updated pizza base recipe.

Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl or onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle of it.

Mix the yeast, honey and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork (or your hands) start to stir the liquid in the well while bringing in the flour until the dough starts to come together. Then work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and dust the top of it with some flour. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Now place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and knead it around for a 2-3 minutes to push the air out. As you are doing this, work the dough into a giant sausage shape. Divide the dough into six or eight pieces (eight if you like a thin and crispy base) and put them to one side.

Take one of the portions and make it into a ball, then stretch that into a roundish shape about 3-4 inches across and place on a floured surface and grab your rolling pin. Rolling away from you and turning the pizza regularly, roll the pizza base out until it is thin (about an eighth of an inch or less) then flour the pizza base and place on a baking tray lined with cling film – if you don’t have a suitably-sized baking tray, you can substitute with a chopping board or any flat surface that will fit in your freezer.

Fold the cling-film back over the top of the pizza base ready for the next one to be placed on top and repeat until all the portions have been rolled out.

At this point, you can dress one of the pizza bases using some Italian tomato sauce and your preferred toppings, on a baking tray or preferably a pizza stone, either way you will need to sprinkle some cornmeal on before placing the pizza on it to prevent it from sticking.

Then place in a hot oven (approx 220 degrees C) for about 8-10 minutes, sprinkle with dried oregano and enjoy.

Proper Pasta and Pizza Flour

Earlier this week I spotted a tweet from Damien Mulley requesting food bloggers to get in touch with Roma for a free bag of pasta flour and as the offer contained 2 of my favourite things, pasta flour and “free”. I immediately popped an e-mail to the appropriate address and received a prompt response that left me feeling on top of the world, my new contact in Roma is a fan! It’s the little things that make yer day :)

Roma Gift Box
Roma Gift Box

Yesterday morning the door bell rang so I headed for the front door to be greeted by a courier with a package for me. It was a bit large for a bag of flour, I thought and sure enough once the paperwork had been signed and the courier thanked, I hurried inside to open the package.

Not only was there the flour as promised, but also a re-usable pasta box filled with dried penne and a recipe card. The recipes are for ravioli and a calzoni pizza. Now as some of my long-time readers know I’ve posted both pizza base and pasta recipes previously and I’ve posted about my difficulty in finding Farina Tipo 00 in Ireland so I’m overjoyed to hear that Roma are now bringing this product in to Ireland and that Superquinn and the larger Dunnes Stores will be stocking it. Thanks so much, the shopping trips to Italy were getting a bit pricey! :)

I’m also really looking forward to playing around with my pizza base recipe and hope to get a little bit closer to that genuine Italian pizza flavour at home, in the next few days so keep an eye out for a new recipe in the coming weeks.