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Who Invented Pizza?

Did you know pizza took the United States by storm before it became popular in its native Italy?

Pizza has a long history. Flatbreads with toppings were consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. (The latter ate a version with herbs and oil, similar to today’s focaccia.) But the modern birthplace of pizza is southwestern Italy's Campania region, home to the city of Naples.

Founded around 600 B.C. as a Greek settlement, Naples in the 1700s and early 1800s was a thriving waterfront city. Technically an independent kingdom, it was notorious for its throngs of working poor, or lazzaroni. “The closer you got to the bay, the more dense their population, and much of their living was done outdoors, sometimes in homes that were little more than a room,” says Carol Helstosky, author of Pizza: A Global History and associate professor of history at the University of Denver.

These Neapolitans required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza—flatbreads with various toppings, eaten for any meal and sold by street vendors or informal restaurants—met this need. “Judgmental Italian authors often called their eating habits ‘disgusting,’” Helstosky notes. These early pizzas consumed by Naples’ poor featured the tasty garnishes beloved today, such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies and garlic.

Italy unified in 1861, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend has it that the traveling pair became bored with their steady diet of French haute cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, the successor to Da Pietro pizzeria, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with soft white cheese, red tomatoes and green basil. (Perhaps it was no coincidence that her favorite pie featured the colors of the Italian flag.) From then on, the story goes, that particular topping combination was dubbed pizza Margherita.

Queen Margherita’s blessing could have been the start of an Italy-wide pizza craze. But pizza would remain little known in Italy beyond Naples’ borders until the 1940s.

An ocean away, though, immigrants to the United States from Naples were replicating their trusty, crusty pizzas in New York and other American cities, including Trenton, New Haven, Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. The Neapolitans were coming for factory jobs, as did millions of Europeans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; they weren’t seeking to make a culinary statement. But relatively quickly, the flavors and aromas of pizza began to intrigue non-Neapolitans and non-Italians.

One of the first documented United States pizzerias was G. (for Gennaro) Lombardi’s on Spring Street in Manhattan, licensed to sell pizza in 1905. (Prior to that, the dish was homemade or purveyed by unlicensed vendors.) Lombardi’s, still in operation today though no longer at its 1905 location, “has the same oven as it did originally,” notes food critic John Mariani, author of How Italian Food Conquered the World.

Debates over the finest slice in town can be heated, as any pizza fan knows. But Mariani credited three East Coast pizzerias with continuing to churn out pies in the century-old tradition: Totonno’s (Coney Island, Brooklyn, opened 1924); Mario’s (Arthur Avenue, the Bronx, opened 1919); and Pepe’s (New Haven, opened 1925).

https://www.history.com/ By Gayle Turim

Butternut squash and caramelized onion flatbread  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time:1 hour

Cooking time:1 hour

A wonderful recipe for a Fall or winter season showing the colors of this dish.
Prep and cook time are for flatbread only. If you're making the caramelized onions and butternut squash on the same day you're making the flatbread, allow about an extra hour.
Roasted Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Caramelized Onions
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions halved & thinly sliced
salt + pepper to taste

1 prepared pizza crust
1/2 cup Fontina or Italian blend cheese shredded
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp sage leaves cut into ribbons
2 tbsp toasted walnuts chopped (optional) Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Spread squash onto a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Bake for 45–50 minutes or until tender.
Caramelized Onions
Heat oil in a large skillet over low heat.
Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until completely caramelized, stirring occasionally at first and more often as onions begin to brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Season with freshly ground pepper.
Preheat oven to temperature indicated on pizza crust package.
Top crust with caramelized onions, cheese, and squash.
Bake for time on package or until squash is heated through and cheese has melted.
While pizza is baking, heat oil in small skillet over medium high heat. Add sage leaves and saute, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until leaves are crispy, but still green.
Sprinkle sage leaves and walnuts on pizza before serving.

Chickpea crust pizza  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time:25 minutes

Crack the code to super easy home-made pizza making! Chickpea Crust Pizza is a recipe so simple, you’ll be able to put the whole thing together in the same amount of time it would take to have a pizza delivered
1 cup chickpea flour
½ cup water
1 tsp olive oil
dash of salt
½ cup marinara or pizza sauce
handful of shredded kale
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup grated mozzarella Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, water, 1 tsp olive oil and salt until thoroughly mixed.
To prepare crust, spread mixture out in a circular shape (Or multiple circles if making individual pizzas) until it's about ¼" thick.
Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until edges are slightly crispy.
While crust bakes, toss kale in small bowl with 1 tsp olive oil.
Remove crust from oven. Flip parchment paper and crust upside down on baking sheet. Gently pull baking sheet away from crust.
Spread sauce over crust. Layer kale over sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes. Slice and enjoy right away.

Chickpea flour pizza crust recipe  Print Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time:30 minutes

2 c. chickpea flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1⅓ c. water
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. garlic powder
Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You'll end up with a very lumpy batter (not a stretchy dough, don't worry!).
Cover and allow to rest overnight on the counter top. (Note: Best soaking practice is to leave out the salt and incorporate it the following day.) You should find that by the next day, the lumps have all worked themselves out, which is handy.
When ready to make the pizzas, heat 1-2 cast iron skillets over medium heat for at least 5 minutes to get the cooking surface nice and hot.
Prepare all your toppings for efficiency.
Preheat broiler to high (or low, see below).
Add a little oil of your choice to the skillet.
Pour a thin layer (about ⅔-1 cup) evenly into the skillet, tilting it if necessary or using the back of a ladle to spread out the batter to the edges. Thinner crusts are tastier and crispier.
Cook 1-2 minutes until browned on the bottom – it will bubble on the top a lot like pancakes when it's ready to flip.
Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more. For extra crispy crust, flip two more times to really brown it without burning.
Remove the crust to a baking stone or cookie sheet. (You can get another one going in the skillet at this point.) If you have a lot of cast iron skillets or are making a smaller batch, you could certainly add your favorite toppings and broil right in the skillet.
Top with sauce, toppings and cheese of your choice.
Broil 1-3 minutes on high to melt the cheese. (or you can broil for about 5-7 minutes on low.

Croatian soparnik  Print Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation time:1 hour 20 minutes

Cooking time:20 minutes

Soparnik is known as a Croatian version of pizza, although it’s more like a pie, with dough on the top and bottom. It’s traditionally filled with swiss chard.
300 g plain flour (about 2 cups, plus more for dusting)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black pepper
2/3 cup (150ml water)

For the filling:
Large handful Swiss chard
1 onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic minced
4 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil optional, to serve
1. Add the plain flour, olive oil and salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Gradually adding the water, knead the mixture with clean hands until it comes together into a dough. The dough should be moist but not overly sticky, so you may not need all of the water (or you may need to adjust the water).
2. Continue to knead for a few more minutes, until the dough is fairly elastic. Place the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover. Allow to rest for 1 hour.
3. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Remove any tough stems from the Swiss chard, and chop the leaves and stems. Add the finely diced onion, garlic and parsley, along with a tablespoon of olive oil and a touch more salt and pepper. Mix well, and set aside.
4. When the dough has rested, transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the mixture in two equal pieces, and roll the first section out to your desired size (the thinner the better).
5. Transfer the rolled-out dough to a sheet of baking paper, and add the filling, making sure it's spread out evenly to the edges of the dough.
6. Roll out the second piece of dough in the same size, and place it over the filling.
7. Using a rolling pin, press the two layers of dough together over the filling, pressing out as much air as possible and tightly sealing the edges. Make a few small holes in the top of the pie with a fork.
8. Bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cut into diamonds with a pizza cutter, and serve warm, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Figs and goat cheese pizza  Print Recipe

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time:15 minutes

Sweet figs balance sharp goat's cheese, tender golden onions in this pizza
For the dough:
2.5g (¾ tsp) active dried yeast
125g (4½oz) plain flour, plus more for dusting
125g (4½oz) bread flour
1 tsp olive oil

For the topping:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, halved and very finely sliced
4-5 medium figs, halved
2 cups peeled choppe dtomatoes
1/2 cup black olives pitted
125g (4½oz) goat’s cheese, broken into chunks
a little extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling First make the dough. Have 175ml (6fl oz) lukewarm water ready. Put the yeast into a couple of tablespoons of the warm water in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour. Stir together, then leave somewhere warm to “sponge” for 20 minutes or so
Put both types of flour into a large mixing-bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour on the sponged yeast, ¼ tsp salt, the oil and remaining water and gradually mix all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to form a dough (it will be quite wet). Knead for 10 minutes until satiny and elastic, then put in a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm for 2½ hours. It should double in size. (If you are using bought fresh dough put it somewhere warm for 30 minutes before using.)

Boil the sliced onions until tender. Drain
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a medium heat for about ten minutes until golden. Add tomatoes and continue cooking until moisture is all evaporated. Season with salt and pepper Set aside.
Half an hour before you want to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8 – it really needs to be as hot as you can get it. Place a baking-sheet or pizza stone into the oven to heat.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead it a little, then roll it into a circle or a rough square, depending on whether you are using a pizza stone or a baking-sheet. It should be about 30-32cm (11¾-12½in) across.
Carefully take the hot baking-sheet or stone out of the oven and flour it. Put the pizza dough on to it and, working quickly, top with the onions tomato mixture and the halved figs and olives, leaving a 3cm (1-inch) rim all the way around the pizza. Spoon a little balsamic vinegar on top of each fig half and sprinkle a bit of sugar on each as well. Dot the chunks of goat’s cheese among the figs. Drizzle the goat’s cheese with a little olive oil. Grind some pepper over the top. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes. The pizza should be golden and the figs slightly caramelised in patches.
Serve immediately. A rocket, (arugala), spinach or watercress salad is good on the side.

Flatbread pizzas  Print Recipe

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time:15 minutes

2 6-inch diameter whole wheat pita breads
1 6.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 14.5- ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, drained well
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut pita bread in half horizontally. Drain artichokes, reserve marinade, and cut any large pieces in halves. Place breads on large baking sheet.
Brush breads with some of artichoke marinade. Bake until just beginning to color. Cool on sheets. Sprinkle breads almost to edges with crumbled feta cheese.
Top with tomatoes, olives, oregano and artichokes. Drizzle with remaining artichoke marinade.
Bake pizzas until heated through, about 4 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Homemade pizza dough  Print Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Manitoba flour: what it is and it is used for
1 tbsp. – dry active yeast
2 cups – warm water
2 tbsp. – dry milk powder
2 tbsp. – granulated sugar
2 tbsp. – olive oil
4 cups - white bread flour or Manitoba flour or Tipo '00' flour
1 tsp. – salt
Using a bread machine:
Place all dry ingredients into a bread machine maker pan if available
Add lukewarm water. Set the bread machine to dough cycle. Place the bread machine pan into the bread machine maker.
It takes about 30 minutes for the dough cycle to mix the dough. The rest of the cycle the dough will be rising for about one hour.

To make dough by hand:
Combine yeast, water, milk powder and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and allow the yeast to develop. Add flour and salt. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Transfer the dough onto a large greased bowl. Let dough rise until doubled in volume.
Knead the dough and split in two equal halves. Each half of the dough makes one 13” pizza. You can freeze the second half of the dough is it is not used. Just coat it with olive oil, and place it into a freezing bag. You can freeze the dough for a couple of months, and then when the dough is needed, just place it overnight into refrigerator to thaw.

Marinara sauce  Print Recipe

Serves: 10

Preparation time:

Cooking time:40 minutes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 large can (28 ounces) Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 large can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried whole basil
1 teaspoon dried whole oregano
pinch fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan (do not use cast iron or aluminum) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots; sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Bring just to a boil, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until desired thickness.
Remove the bay leaf. Serve with your favorite pasta or polenta.

Neapolitan pizza for a home kitchen  Print Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation time:1 hour

Cooking time:8 minutes

This recipe is about as close as you can get to wood-burning oven-style Neapolitan pizza without having to void the warranty of your oven. The Antimo Caputo Tipo "00" Italian bread flour called for helps improve the texture, but is not necessary. Regular bread flour (of even all-purpose flour) will work just fine.

For best results, use weight measurements, not volume.

20 ounces (4 cups) Italian tipo 00 flour (see note), plus extra for dusting dough
2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for assembly
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
12 ounces water
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes
12 ounces buffalo mozzarella or fresh cow's milk mozzarella
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
24 basil leaves
Combine flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Whisk to combine. Add water and knead on low speed just until mixture comes together and no dry flour remains. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Knead on low speed for an additional ten minutes. The mixture should come together into a cohesive mass that barely sticks to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads. Depending on the type of flour used, you may need to add up to 1/2 cup additional flour. If dough sticks heavily to bottom of bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time with mixer running until it forms a mass that just barely sticks to the bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic or transfer the dough to two gallon-sized zipper lock bags, seal, and refrigerate for at least 8 and up to 72 hours.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and dust the top with additional flour. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into six even pieces, approximately six ounces each. Using floured hands, shape each piece into a neat ball by gathering the dough towards the bottom. Coat four small containers with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil (large cereal bowls work great for this) and add one dough ball to each bowl. Lightly spray top of dough ball with non-stick cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours (dough should roughly double in volume).

Meanwhile, drain tomatoes in fine meshed strainer and break them up with your fingers, squeezing excess juice out from the interior. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender with a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2-inch chunks and place on a plate on a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place another triple layer of paper towels or clean dish towel on top of the cheese and stack another plate on top. Allow the excess water to blot out for at least 10 minutes.

Transfer 1 ball of dough to a medium bowl filled with flour and flip to coat. Lift it and gently pat off the excess flour. Transfer it to a floured surface and gently stretch it into a 10-inch circle, leaving the outer 1-inch edge slightly thicker than the center. The best way to do this it to start by gently stretching with your fingertips. Pick up the slightly stretched dough and place it on the opened face of your left hand. Toss it back and forth between your opened hands, rotating it slightly with each toss until it stretches out to around 8-inches in diameter. Return it to the work surface. With your left hand flat in the center of the round, use your right hand to stretch the edge of the dough out, rotating as needed until it is an even 10-inches in diameter.

Have your tomato sauce, drained cheese, pizza dough, olive oil, kosher salt, and basil leaves ready and close to the stovetop. Preheat the broiler to high and arrange the rack such that you can just barely fit a 12-inch heavy-bottomed oven-proof cast iron or stainless steel skillet on top of it. Dust skillet with flour, tap out excess, then heat the skillet over high heat and heat until lightly smoking, about three minutes. Transfer one dough round to the skillet. It should fill up the entire bottom surface. Working quickly, spread two tablespoons sauce evenly over the dough, leaving the outer 1-inch border un-sauced. Top with 1/6 of the cheese chunks. Season with kosher salt. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and scatter four basil leaves over the surface. Transfer skillet to broiler and broil until pizza is puffed and darkly charred in spots (this can take anywhere between 1 1/2 to 4 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler). Return the skillet to the stovetop and cook until the bottom is darkly charred in spots, using a thin metal spatula to peek after about 1 minute (depending on the skillet you use, you may skip this step if the pizza is already charred). Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and serve immediately. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to bake remaining pizzas.

Pissaladiere  Print Recipe

Serves: 10

Preparation time:1 hour

Cooking time:1 hour

For the topping (makes 1 pissaladiere):
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 pounds yellow onions, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 whole cloves garlic
For the dough (makes 2 pissaladieres)
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
2 envelopes dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons kosher salt

To assemble each pissaladiere:
Cornmeal, for baking
12 to 18 anchovy fillets
12 French black olives, preferably oil-cured, pitted For the topping, heat the olive oil in a very large saute pan and cook the onions, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic over low heat for 45 minutes, until the onions are sweet and cooked but not browned. Toss the onions from time to time. After 30 minutes, take out the garlic, chop it roughly, and add it back to the onions.
Meanwhile, for the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it's at least 100 degrees F when you add the yeast.) Add 3 cups of the flour, then the salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Mix the dough on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes, until smooth, sprinkling it with flour to keep it from sticking to the bowl. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, rolling each 1 into a smooth ball. If you're only making 1 pissaladiere, place 1 ball on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. (If you're not using the other dough, wrap it well and refrigerate or freeze it for the next time.) Roll the dough lightly with a rolling pin, then stretch it to a 10 by 15-inch rectangle and place it on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
Spoon the onion topping onto the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border all around. Artfully arrange the anchovies and olives on top, brush the edge of the dough with olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is crisp. Serve hot on a cutting board.

Pissaladière Provençale  Print Recipe

Serves: 8

Preparation time:30 minutes

Cooking time:50 minutes

Pissaladiere Provençale, a savory pie, is a close cousin to the pizza.
Pissaladiere, which got its name from pissala, a fish paste made from anchovies, is typically served as a French hors d'oeuvre.
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons additional flour for kneading

Onion Filling:
2 pounds (about 5) large yellow onions, peeled, and very thinly sliced to yield 8 cups
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup water
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
about 2 dozen flat anchovy fillets, oil drained
3 dozen Nicoise olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Electric mixer method:
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water with the sugar. Let proof and soften for about 5 minutes. With paddle attachment, add oil, and stir to blend. Add 1 cup flour and stir until smooth. With dough hook attachment, add remaining 3/4 cup flour and salt and knead until silky smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Food processor method:
Place flour and salt in food processor bowl; process briefly just to blend. Combine oil and yeast mixture, pour down feed tube and process just until mixture is a lumpy mass. Place the mixture on a lightly floured work surface and knead sticky dough for about 5 minutes until satiny and smooth. Knead in no more than three tablespoons additional flour.

Place dough in large bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
While dough is rising, prepare the filling.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet and over medium-low heat saute the onions, garlic and salt until soft and transparent, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally to prevent onions from browning or scorching. Add the water and thyme, and over high heat cook until the water evaporates. Over low heat, continue sauteing about 20 minutes longer, until onion mixture is very soft and translucent. Transfer to a sieve to drain any excess liquid. (yield at this time is 3 cups). Remove sprig of thyme. Set aside to cool.
Adjust the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the bottom of a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan or a 12-inch pizza pan.
Punch dough down. With fingertips, press and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If the dough becomes elastic, rest a couple of minutes, then press again. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 30 minutes or until puffy.
Spread onion filling evenly over risen dough. Place anchovies decoratively over top of tart. Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate pan, and bake until crust is cooked through and golden, about 12 minutes more.
Remove from oven, and using a spatula, transfer tart to a wire rack. Arrange olives decoratively on tart.
Serve warm or room temperature. Cut rectangles, squares or wedges while warm or at room temperature.
For an extra crisp crust, spread filling over dough, and rather than allow time for the dough to rise and become puffy, bake it right away.
For a more bread-like crust, let dough rise in baking pan until puffy, then spread filling on top and bake.
Note: If anchovy fillets taste too salty, rinse them in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Pizza dough with oatmeal  Print Recipe

Serves: 12

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time:10 minutes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
4 tablespoons quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon In a food processor, mix the oatmeal into a powder.
Combine the flour, oatmeal, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. While the mixer is running, add the water and 1 tablespoon of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch round.

Pizza margherita  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cooking time:12 minutes

This is the simple classic pizza If you can't find buffalo mozzarella just use a good quality cow's milk mozzarella.
Also to speed up the prep time, simply use store bought marinara sauce.
1 envelope (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar (5 ml)
⅓ cup lukewarm water (75 ml)
1 ⅓ cups lukewarm water (325 ml)
2 teaspoons coarse salt (10 ml)
¼ cup oilve oil (60 ml)
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (925 ml)
flour for kneading and rolling
olive oil for oiling the bowl (15 ml)

3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
1 cloves garlic, chopped
2 28 ounce cans whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes (1592 ml)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

4 balls buffalo mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds (about 1 pound/454 grams)
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves, shredded (roughly 24 basil leaves)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
pinch red chile flakes, optional
olive oil, for drizzling on the pizza

In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup lukewarm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Add yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Combine 3 ¾ all-purpose flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough blade, add water, olive and yeast mixture and blend. Knead on low speed for about 10 to 12 minutes until the dough comes together and is smooth. Remove dough from the bowl. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and continue knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 2 to 5 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If dough is still too sticky, add a little more flour. Place the dough in a lightly oiled medium bowl and cover. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Drain the tomatoes in a strainer to remove excess liquid. Process the tomatoes in a food mill over a medium bowl. Discard excess liquid or keep to make a soup.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside. Let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven when oven begins to preheat. Heat according to manufacturer’s directions.

Punch down dough. Divide dough into 4 balls. Using your hands, stretch and pull (or alternatively roll with a rolling pin) each ball of dough into 10 to 12-inch rounds depending on how thin you want your crust.

Sprinkle some flour onto a pizza paddle (if you don’t have a paddle, you can sprinkle flour on pizza pans or baking sheets). Place a round of dough onto the pizza paddle or pan. Evenly spoon over tomato sauce and basil and cheese. Season the pizzas with salt and pepper and chile flakes, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil. Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone. Bake until topping is bubbly and crust is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining rounds of dough.

Socca Farinata torta di ceci cecina  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time:20 minutes

Cooking time:20 minutes

This is a variation of the renowed Provence passaladière and is made of chickpea flour, water and olive oil. The pancakes are a specialty from Nice in France and neighboring Liguria, in Italy where they are called farinata
2 cups (300g) cherry tomatoes, halved
5 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt and black pepper
1 3/4 lbs (800g) white onions, cut into thin rings
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups (230g) chickpea flour
2 cups (450ml) water
2 egg whites
crème fraîche to serve

Toss the cherry tomatoes with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast them, cut side up, at 275°F for about 25 minutes. You don;t want them to dry out completely.
Chop the thyme leaves and toss with the thinly sliced white onions adding some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Put this in a large pan and cook on high for about a minute, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes until the onion is light brown and sweet.
Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
When the tomatoes are cooked, set them aside. Increase the oven temperature to 325F.

Make the Socca batter with your chickpea flour.
Combine 1 3/4 cups chickpea flour, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt plus a grind of pepper in a bowl and whisk by hand until smooth and well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk two egg whites to soft peaks and then gently fold them into the batter. Now line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside to put your pancakes on as you make them.

Use a small 6″ pan to fry the pancakes or a regular non-stick frying pan, keeping the pancakes about 6 ” in diameter. Put a bit of olive oil in the pan, the pour the batter about 1/4 ” thick and then just wait for the bubble to start appearing on the top. Give it a flip and cook for about another minute and pop onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Make the rest of the pancakes (4-6 total) and then put them all in the oven for 5 minutes.

Top the pancakes generously with the caramelized onion and then add the tomatoes. You can warm this in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
The crème fraîche can be served on the side.

Spinach and ricotta naan pizzas  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time:20 minutes

Cooking time:20 minutes

1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 pkg (227 g) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
4 garlic naan or plain naan
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-smooth ricotta cheese or grated mozzarella In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, ginger and cumin seeds, stirring, for 1 minute. Add onion, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes.

Stir in spinach; cook, stirring often, until wilted and no liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; remove from heat.

Arrange naan on large rimless baking sheet; divide spinach mixture among naan. Top with tomatoes; dollop ricotta cheese over top. Bake in 425 F (220 C) oven until bottoms are golden, about 15 minutes.

Change it up: Grilled Spinach and Ricotta Naan Pizzas
Prepare pizzas as directed. Place on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill until bottoms are crisp and golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
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