Why buy (frozen) Pizza when you can make your own? The only thing I am not making myself is the dough which I buy from the European Deli up the street from me. I just don't make enough pizza to make my own dough.
As I mentioned, I am not making my own dough, but the rest is all made from scratch. Let's start with.....
You can buy pre-made Pizza sauce for cheap at pretty much any supermarket. But it's not hard to make your own:
- Tin of Tomato Paste
- Two table spooons of extra virgin olive oil
- Two table spoons of fresh or dried herbs (I use the "Italo" mix.
- Garlic to taste.
- Chili flakes to taste for some heat.
Mix it all into a spreadable paste and set aside.
I chose beef for my filling, so I browned the beef with some onions and black pepper, then set it aside. Towards the end I added a bit of red wine to de-glace and add a bit of a "bite" to the meat.
I shredded up some Mozarella, Extra Old Cheddar and some Parmesan. This will give it a nice flavour profile and the cheese will make sure the pizza doesn't dry out.
I cut up a tomato and some artichokes.
Building the Pizza
In order to get a good crust the easiest way I found to make the pizza is to use a cast iron skillet. Make sure to turn the oven on at this time. Set it to the highest setting available and move one of the racks to the top most position.
Use some cooking spray to thinly coat the pan, then put the pre-made dough into the pan, put some oil on your hands as well and then stretch the dough out to fill (most) of the pan.
Once you have spread the paste across the dough, start assembling the other items.
Start with the beef, then put the tomato and artichokes on it, followed by the cheese and you end up with this:
Now that the Pizza is assembled turn on the stove and make the skillet heat up. You know it's ready to go into the oven when you hear some crackling coming from the skillet.
Note: Do not put the Pizza in until the oven has come to full heat
Cooking should be pretty straight forward. Once you have placed the Pizza in the oven let it go for around 15 minutes, then check on the progress. You know it's ready when the cheese has melted and the crust starts showing some browning.