Homemade Pizza

I’m usually not a fan of eating pizza at restaurants but recently I have made some exceptions and found the type of pizza I would go back for. I wouldn’t compare pizza in the UK to what I ate in Italy where I definitely fell in love with their choices (especially Rome and I can’t wait to go back just for it!). So here, I tried to recreate a version I would enjoy with a tangy marinara pizza sauce, loaded with wholesome veggies and cheese. Trust me, this is one you would want to try! I am still to master the pizza base recipe but the sauce and toppings on a store bought base will taste amazing.

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Total cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 3 pizzas

Ingredients

For Marinara Sauce:

  • 6 small tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes (blanched and peeled – see below)
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp mild red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For Pizza Toppings:

  • 3 pizza bases
  • 3-4 tbsp grated cheese per pizza (or more if you like it more cheesy)
  • 3-4 basil leaves per pizza (or more!)
  • 6-7 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 pepper (sliced)
  • ½ medium onion (sliced)
  • Note: You can also use broccoli, cherry tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, jalapeños and olives
  • 3-4 tbsp marinara sauce (above)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

For Marinara Sauce:

  1. In a deep pan, boil water.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and add it to the boiling water and let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and transfer it to a bowl of cold water and peel the skin and keep aside.

4. In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.

5. Add the chopped garlic and onion and cook on a low flame until the onion softens.

6. Add the blanched and peeled tomatoes, ketchup and mash them using the spoon. Allow the tomatoes to cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame.

7. Add the salt, pepper, red chilli flakes, red chilli powder and oregano and cook until it thickens to a sauce like consistency.


8. Turn the hob off and using a hand blender, blend to form a smooth paste. If you do not have a hand blender, let the sauce cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a jug blender and blend. If the sauce becomes too thick, add 2-3 tbsp of water and mix.

9. Keep aside whilst you prepare the toppings.

For Pizza Toppings

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degree celsius.
  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and a bit of salt to cook the vegetables on medium-high until they soften and mushrooms shrink. This should take about 7-8 minutes. Note: If you use olives and jalapeños, they do not need to be pre-cooked. Just add it during the assembly below.

Assembling the Pizza

  1. On a pizza base, spread the marinara sauce.
  2. Sprinkle the cheese on next followed by the vegetables and fresh basil. I prefer adding the vegetables after the cheese so the bright vegetables shine through. Note: If using olives and jalapeños, add them at this stage.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and grill for 10-12 minutes until the base cooks and cheese melts.
  4. Repeat until all pizzas are done and enjoy hot!

Hope you enjoy this!

Payal

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