Eric is in India at the moment which wouldn’t have been so bad had he not brought the camera with him… So I asked my friend who is a photographer (I mentioned her in my previous post too) if she and her son wanted to come over for a fun day with cooking, eating and shooting. Off course they did! One of the things we made was pizza. And I just love home-made pizza! It might be a bit time-consuming (you could get ready-made dough and sauce off course) however the result is so much better making it yourself and only the sky is the limit when it comes to topping combinations. We made 3 different ones, the pear and goat cheese being my favourite.
Pizza is also one of those dishes you get served over the whole world, some tastier and more exciting than others. I did have some mind-blowing pizza in Rome (where else?!), delicious olive pizza in Guatemala, not so tasty in Nepal (what was I thinking, should have gone for that curry anyway!) to just plain awful in Chile (raw onion on wet, soggy base, heated up in a microwave oven).

Pizza dough: (makes about 12 small or one large the size of a baking tray)
400 g all-purpose flour
10 g dried yeast
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
250 ml lukewarm water

In a large bowl, combine the flour and the dried yeast. Add the salt, stir to combine. Add oil and water. Use a large wooden spoon to combine it all. When it starts to resemble a dough, pour it out on a clean flour dusted surface and knead with your hands until you have a smooth, springy dough. Put back in the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let it rise for an hour in a warm place.
Remove the dough to a flour dusted surface and knead it a bit more. Roll the dough to desired thickness and use bowl turned up side down to make the pizzas. Add to a baking tray covered with a baking paper. You might have to repeat this process to get enough pizzas out of the dough.

Tomato sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil to medium heat in a frying pan. Gently fry the onion and garlic a few minutes. Add tomato paste, stir to combine. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano and sugar, stir to combine and let it all cook for about 5 minutes until you have a nice, thick sauce. Add the butter, stir so it melts. Season with salt and pepper.

Toppings:

1. Pear and goat cheese (4 pizzas)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp brown sugar
2 pears, sliced
8 slices of goat cheese
Fresh basil, roughly chopped

Heat half of the olive oil to medium heat in a frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the sugar and cook for another few minutes until the onions are soft and caramelised.
Heat the remaining oil in another frying pan. Cook the pears gently a couple of minutes until soft. Dress the pizzas with the onion, decorate with the pear and finish it off with the cheese slices. Add the fresh basil leaves after cooking.

2. Smoked salmon and rocket (4 pizzas)
4 slices of smoked salmon
A handful of capers
8 slices of mozzarella
A handful of rocket

Spread pizza sauce on 4 pizzas (a heaped tablespoon per pizza is enough). Decorate with smoked salmon, capers and finish it off with the cheese. Add the rocket after cooking.

3. Roasted vegetables (4 pizzas)
½ aubergine, sliced
½ zucchini, sliced
1 yellow paprika, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
8 slices mozzarella cheese

Heat the oven to 200°C. Dress a baking tray with a baking sheet. Add the vegetables, pour over the oil and mix well. Roast 15-20 minutes in the oven, stir a couple of times to prevent burning.
Spread pizza sauce on 4 pizzas (a heaped tablespoon per pizza is enough). Divide the vegetables and decorate with the cheese slices.

Cook the pizzas in the oven (200°C) for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and is starting to get a nice golden color.