Since I’m now a fully fledged Manager and working the 9-5 (and then some) routine, I’m increasingly on the lookout for quick dinners. Not only do I want something quick, I want something mind numbingly easy. Now I’m all for chilling out in the kitchen – sure that’s just what I need some days, but, elaborate and complex recipes after a stressful day at work, that’s just not how I roll. I’ll save the challenges for the weekends, holiday time and, should I ever be lucky enough to get one, a much hallowed midweek day off.
One of my ‘go too’ books of the moment is Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals. I’m a great fan of Jamie, I adore his style of cooking and how captivating he is – which other recent chef has inspired so many ‘reluctant cooks’?. What Jamie does for charity is commendable, and he approaches food as if he appreciates every single morsel.
Now, as regular readers will do doubt have noticed I’m usually all for following authentic recipes, using traditional methods … Well this breaks all the rules and cannot be called authentic in any sense of the word. If you want authentic this is the wrong recipe.
I love making authentic pizza, it is a regular occurrence here, but I’m nowhere near well planned enough to make the dough in advance ready to cook on my return from work. And, I’m not likely to know what I want to eat that for in advance; I’m a spur of the moment girl.
This is a yeast free pizza, with self raising flour being used instead, which gives an almost scone texture, but the dough is rolled so thinly that you’d barely noticed. You need to be careful not to swap the pizza with sauce, otherwise it will be a soggy mess; but, feel free to adapt the toppings to your hearts content. My favourites? spicy salami & chilli, with mozzarella, roasted vegetables with creamy mascarpone, proscuitto, mushrooms & mozzarella.
The result? It wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever eaten but it’s far superior to the supermarket ready made varieties and most of those ghastly takeouts. For a faff-free quick and tasty pizza it’s a winner.
- 1½ mugs of self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ mug of tepid water
- 200g tin of chopped tomatoes
- A few sprigs of fresh basil
- ½ a clove of garlic
- Red wine vinegar
- 125g ball of buffalo mozzarella
- 8 slices of salami
- ½ a fresh red chilli
- Mixed roast vegetables
- 100g mascarpone
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Get all your ingredients and equipment ready.
- Turn the grill on to full whack. Put a two large ovenproof frying pans on a low heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor.
- Turn the heat under the frying pan up to high and dust a clean surface with flour.
- Put 1½ mugs' worth of flour into a food processor, then half-fill the same mug with tepid water and add to the flour with a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil.
- Whizz until smooth, then tip on to the floured board. Sprinkle the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour (the dough will be quite wet, so be generous with the flour).
- Roll the dough to a 1cm (½in) thickness. Drizzle olive oil into the pan, then dust the dough with flour again and very lightly fold it over into a halfmoon shape.
- Divide the dough into two.
- Lightly fold the half-moon in half, then move the dough to the pan and unfold it, pushing it down into the sides of the pan. Repeat with the other dough.
- Put the tinned tomatoes into a liquidiser with a few sprigs of basil, ½ a peeled clove of garlic, a splash of red wine vinegar, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whizz until smooth. Pour over the middle of the pizza base and spread out evenly.
- Tear the mozzarella ball into small pieces and dot around one of the bases. Finely grate a layer of Parmesan over, then top with the salami slices. Slice the chilli, then scatter them over the pizza.
- Scatter the roasted vegetables over the other pizza base and dot with spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese. Scatter with some Parmesan over.
- Put the pan under the hot grill for 4 or 5 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil prior to serving.
- Great served with a rocket and Parmesan salad, and a cool Italian beer.