Well, this week does not seem to have brought any more sunshine and warm weather. Instead, it has been a downpour of rain and hailstones. What a great Summer!
So, once again, I realise I have to bring Summer on a plate as much as I can so days do not feel too grey and depressing altogether. Why not do that with a pizza? A spicy and summery pizza of course!
I thought I would share the recipe with you. If the spiciness is too much for you, why not skip the chilli and paprika and replace it with a few herbs. I have tried both ways and it is also delicious.
The avocado brings a lovely creaminess to the pizza. It is an ingredient I really appreciate when paired with a spicy element.
Ingredients (makes 250 to 300g, depending on how much liquid evaporates)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Pour in the olive oil. When hot, add the chopped shallot and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and golden. Stir in the chopped garlic and toss it with the shallots for 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and dried oregano, stir well and cook for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
Add the salt only if you feel like it. I personally tend not to add any if I use the sauce in a dish that has cheese in it.
This sauce is great for a pizza base but also for a quick dinner of pasta. Just add it to your choice of cooked pasta, grate in some cheese and it is perfect for a fast and easy meal.
Ingredients (for a medium-size pizza - serves 4)
1 aubergine / eggplant (about 200g; cut in 1cm thick slices)
3 tbsp olive oil (plus one extra for greasing)
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp paprika powder
250g pizza dough
plain flour (for dusting)
250g tomato sauce (see recipe above)
15g grated parmesan cheese
1 large avocado (or 2 small ones, sliced)
To serve (optional): Greek yoghurt
1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a small bowl, mix the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the dried chilli flakes and paprika powder together. Spread the aubergine slices on the tray. Drizzle the spicy olive oil over them. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
When cooked, set the aubergine slices aside and leave the oven on for the pizza.
2. While the aubergine slices are roasting, line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Rub with one tablespoon of olive oil and dust with flour.
Dust a large flat surface with flour and roll out the pizza dough to about 30cm diameter. Place on the tray and set aside while the aubergine slices are still cooking.
3. Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza base. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on it. Arrange the roasted spicy aubergine slices on the pizza and place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake the pizza for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lovely and golden (baking time may vary depending on your oven).
4. When the pizza is ready, arrange the avocado slices on top, cut and serve.
I serve it with a few dollops of Greek yoghurt to balance the spiciness of the aubergine but this is only optional.
You could also make this pizza dairy free by not adding the parmesan cheese and the yoghurt.
When I make pizza dough, I always end up with a lot of it that I divide into smaller balls. I put them in little sandwich bags and freeze them for no more than a month. It means that whenever we feel like having a pizza or we have friends over, I can whip a few pizze up in no time at all (well, just enough time to spread some tomato sauce, a bit of cheese and other ingredients; I usually defrost the dough during the day).
If you are having a pizza night, why not try the following recipe as well:
Baby New Potatoes Pizza