This is one of those dishes where you remind yourself of all the vegetables packed in, in order to excuse all the meat and cheese! But it’s a saturday so a little indulgence is only fair, and if you manage a whole large pizza you do get around 4 portions of vegetables…!
This recipe is a bit long, but the individual parts can all be made in advance or, if you’re like me, over the course of a lovely saturday afternoon with a glass or two of red wine on the go!
There are four components of the pizza – the sauce, the mushrooms, the base and the meatballs.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Heat the onions, when they start to turn translucent, add the peppers and garlic to the pan and cook until the vegetables have softened. Add the tin of tomatoes and add a little water (I used the tin, filling it a quarter full with water), the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt. Continue to cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- lots of cracked black pepper
Throw all of the above in a pan and cook until the mushrooms have just started to colour. Set aside.
- 2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 325ml warm water
- 500g bread or 00 flour
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2/3 tbsp salt (the original recipe called for 1 tbsp, but I used less as there is salt in the sauce and meatballs)
Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the oil and yeast mix. Using a wooden spoon, start incorporating the flour from the sides, when it starts to look like a dough, tip out on to a floured surface and start to work with your hands. Knead for 10 minutes. Put the dough in a large floured bowl and cover with a tea towel, leave in a warm spot until it’s doubled in size, it should take about an hour.
When ready, knock the air out of the dough. Tip on to a floured surface and need for 1 – 2 minutes to get any remaining air out. If not using straight away, wrap in cling film and chill.
Not much of a recipe here – heat the oven to 180C. Take 6 good quality sausages, remove the casing and divide the meat into four.
Form the bits of sausage meat into flat-ish meatballs and cook in a frying pan with a little oil until browned on both sides. Put the meatballs on some kitchen roll to absorb some of the oil, before transferring to an oven tray. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure cooked through.
When ready to pull all the parts together any make your pizza. Roll out the dough to fit your pizza tray (I like to use some polenta on the base to stop it sticking) and start piling on the toppings and, of course, the cheese!! Get your oven as hot as it will go, and cook for around 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden.