Pizza is one of the go-to foods for the Italian and me. Chances are we have frozen homemade pizza dough in the freezer waiting to be de-thawed and popped into the oven at any day of the week. The Italian can even throw the round dough over his head in true pizza-maker fashion! (Although we have had our fair share of messes to clean up in the aftermath!)
For toppings we tend to go very Italian-style: one of my favorites is tuna and onion (tonno e cipolla), a mainstay of my pizza diet during my university year abroad in Bologna. Prosciutto and rucola is another favorite.
The Italian has taught me some new toppings that I wasn’t familiar with prior to meeting him – including Gorgonzola and Pear. The sweetness of the pear paired with the sharpness of the gorgonzola is a great combination. In Italy, they even have a saying about the wonders of mixing cheese and pears:
“Al contadino non far sapere quanto e’ buono il formaggio con le pere.” Loosely translated, it means: “Don’t tell the farmers how good cheese and pear are together.”
Thin Crust Pizza
Lukewarm water – 600ml (2.5 cups)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 6 T
Sugar – 2 tsp
Yeast – 25 grams (~1.4 T)
Flour – 1kg (~7 cups)
Salt – 20g (~1.2 T)
Put flour into a big bowl and make a hole in the center. In a separate bowl, mix one cup of the lukewarm water with the yeast and sugar until it is dissolved. Pour the water mixture into hole in the center of the flour.
Dissolve the 20g of salt into another cup of water. Add the oil, and pour this into the center of the flour.
Begin mixing the flour and water together. Add more flour and water as needed until the dough reaches a soft and elastic consistency.
Form dough into a ball and put on table with a cloth over it. Place a bowl over the cloth. The bowl needs to be spacious enough for the dough to expand. It should expand about two times the original size over a period of two hours.
Take a chunk of the dough and roll it out on a table with flour as thin as desired. Place on greased baking tray. Cut away excess dough so it fits the shape of the tray.
Put tomato sauce on dough. Place desired toppings. Add a line of olive oil and salt.
Cook in oven at 180C (350 F) for 10-15 minutes or until dough is browned.
Our Favorite Toppings:
Tuna and Onion – Use tuna canned in water. No cheese on this one traditionally as in Italy it is considered wrong to put cheese on fish. However, I’m of the opinion that a little mozzarella doesn’t hurt. 🙂
Gorgonzola and Pear (or blue cheese and pear) – slice the pears thin. Can also add a bit of mozzarella.
Prosciutto, Rucola and Mozzarella
Chorizo (spicy sausage or pepperoni), Roasted Peppers and Mozzarella
Grilled Vegetables and Mozzarella – we like zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms
Boiled Asparagus and Egg with Mozzarella
Prosciutto Cotto (cooked prosciutto or ham slices), Sauteed Mushrooms and Mozarella
Anchovies, Capers and Mozzarella
Or, get creative!
*Note – it’s always good to add an extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt over the toppings before putting the pizza in the oven.