Nothing beats homemade pizza.
I always smile when people think that making pizza (and pasta) from scratch is difficult and time consuming. It is, in fact, extremely simple and easy. A few ingredients, a bit of kneading, some time to rest and voila!
Homemade pizzas were always something my mother and aunties served at all family gatherings (we even have an aunty in Perth who makes them, puts topping on them, freezes them, and sells them to non-Italians). They are the fail-safe entertainers dream.
I often make pizzas when we have friends coming over to hang out. I’ll make the dough and pizza sauce during the day and par bake them in the oven ready for toppings and Scotty’s final cook on the BBQ pizza stone at night it means little to no faffing about in the kitchen while guests are in the house and more time to chat and drink wine!
Unlike my parents place back in Perth, Scotty and I do not have the luxury of a backyard pizza oven – but we have found this great pizza stone that sits on the BBQ and cooks the pizza perfectly (for those of you in Oz go to BBQs Galore and pick one up for about $30).
The best thing about pizzas is that you can put just about anything on them as a topping and I love experimenting with different flavours till I find a perfect combination. My failsafe topping is pizza sauce, fresh basil, bocconcini, prosciutto and rocket (added after the pizza is cooked).
TIME FOR AN ASIDE ABOUT SALT
I don’t think I have said this before – but salt is the true key to Italian cooking. It takes a tomato salad from so-so to amazing, it is the key to perfect prosciutto, and it makes a potato and bean side dish out of this world. In short, it should be used liberally. It’s almost like there is a sweet spot with Italian food where if you keep adding a little salt, tasting it, adding a little again, tasting it…etc. there is a point where the food just comes alive.
The Family Pizza Dough Recipe
Why not try something a little more unusual like the mashed pumpkin, spinach and parmesan pizza you see in my photos?