Tag Archives: Pizza

Pizza

This is one of my weaknesses, when ordering a delivery my preference would always be for pizza as it’s one of my favourite foods, but I have a tendency to overeat when ordering pizza from Domino’s. Partly because the pizza would always have a thick base (I don’t like the other base options) and partly because Domino’s pizzas are either a little bit too small or a little bit too large for me and I would usually go for the option that was a little too large…

Ferrari factory entrance
Ferrari factory entrance

On our first trip to Italy (as part of our honeymoon), we discovered a fantastic little restaurant near the hotel we were staying in, that served the most delicious thin based Italian pizzas at a very reasonable price.

In fact it was so good that when we returned to Italy last year with a friend, we booked into the same hotel on the first night just so we could go back to the same restaurant. I think Anto (yes, I do know Anto ;)) was a bit worried that we were a little too fond of this restaurant. Well at least until his Calzone arrived and he became a convert as well. We ate there almost every night we were in Italy, even driving a 100km plus round trip to get there on a few occasions!

Once we got home from our honeymoon, I had to try to make my own. Along the way I discovered a few things, first if you want to make pizza you need either a stone oven, (not terribly practical for most of us) or a pizza stone to put in your own oven. I’m not sure why this makes such a difference but it does. Also cornmeal sprinkled on the pizza stone or baking tray before placing the pizza on it to cook stops it sticking and allows it to slide effortlessly onto a plate when done.

And the three best things about making your own Pizza?

    * You can put anything you want on it
    * It’s a great way of using up those little bits and pieces you have leftover in the fridge
    * It’s way more cost-effective than ordering in

One final note, when you’re rolling out the bases, if they’re not perfectly round, don’t worry about it, it makes them appear more rustic and home-made 😉

Green Pasta

Pesto is a dish that I had never heard of until a friend served up a bowl of green tagliateli to me back in my student days. Up until then my knowledge of Italian food was limited to Pizza, Spagetti Bolognese and lasagne. So a green pasta dish raised an eyebrow and the inevitable “what is this?”

Basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum).

After a brief explanation of what it was made from and assurances that it wasn’t going to kill me, I took my first tentative taste and was pleasantly surprised by the flavours. From then on a jar of store bought pesto and dried pasta could nearly always be found in the kitchen, as it was a virtually effortless meal i.e. boil and drain the pasta, stir in a few spoons of pesto, eat.

My pesto recipe is very much off the cuff, there is very little in the way of exact measures and the final product is completely dependent on tasting as I make it, adding a little parmesan or oil and tasting again until I am happy with both the taste and consistency.

Also this is fun to make, you get to bash stuff up in a pestle and mortar and the sense of satisfaction that you get from tasting and blending the flavour until it’s exactly what you want, is well worth the effort.

Pesto is a great all-rounder, just stir some into some hot fresh pasta and you’ve got lunch or dinner, spread some on a savoury sandwich, a few splashes across a pizza… the list goes on and on.

It’s also worth noting that this recipe will keep for a week or more once stored in an airtight container in your fridge, which means you can make your pesto at the weekend and have it any night of the week.

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