PizzaandMore

A good pizza sauce is important in-order to prepare a good pizza. You will need excellent ingredients for preparing any good pizza sauce or for that matter any meal. This particular recipe includes parmesan, red chilies and raw honey to give it a little sweet and spicy flavor.

Ingredients:
170 gr. tomato paste
170 ml. warm water
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons raw honey
¾ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ tsp dried basil
1 pinch of ground white pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
Salt (to taste) sea salt if available

Preparation of the good pizza sauce:
Add all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring it to simmer, make sure there are no lumps in the parmesan cheese. Simmer for about 30 minutes then let stand for a few hours or overnight to ensure all flavors blend in with each other. While purchasing dried spices make sure you purchase a good quality product in-order to create a good pizza sauce.

 

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This easy pizza sauce needs about 10 min on preparation time plus about 20 min of cooking time. This is a very basic yet tasty and easy pizza sauce. This is a great recipe if you are just starting to experiment with cooking.

Ingredients
1 can (800 gr) whole peeled tomatoes, in juice
1 small white or sweet onion, finely diced and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Italian seasoning
Pinch salt (to taste)
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
Pinch sugar, optional
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to sauté

Directions to prepare the easy pizza sauce:
Empty the contents of the tomato can in a mixing bowl and coarsely crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands, leaving them just a little chunky. In a heavy bottom 2 liter saucepot, add the olive oil, over a medium heat and warm a little. Then add the onions and sauté until slightly translucent, add the garlic and continue to cook for about another minute until golden. Quickly adding the crushed tomatoes to the mix, stir well and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste then add the fresh basil & the oregano. Depending on your taste you can season with a touch of sugar to sweeten the tart tomatoes a little. Simmer on a low heat and stirring frequently for at about 15 to 20 minutes.

This easy pizza sauce can be stored in an air tight container for about 1 week in your refrigerator.

Rustic Italian Bread is great to dunk into soups, make baquette like sandwiches or just as a sideto pasta and antipasti.
This recipe is super easy to make and it’s sure to impress your family or any dinner guests you’ll be inviting over this weekend. The Rustic Italian Bread outer crust is thick and crispy and the inside is warm, soft and delightfully tasty. The recipe makes two loaves so there should be plenty to go around

Ingredients for the Rustic Italian Bread:
Sponge:
180 gr flour
½ package fresh yeast
90 ml warm water (+/- 40°C)

Dough:
3 tablespoons warm water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
200 gr flour

Preparation of the Rustic Italian Bread:
Sponge:
Mix the yeast and flour in a mixing bowl until combined.
Pour the water in with the yeast mixture and stir the mixture for 3 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for at least 4 hours but not longer than 12 hours.

Bread:
After the sponge has properly rested, add the water and salt to it. Stir in the flour, adding a little extra as needed if the dough is too sticky.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (or place in a dough mixer) and knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil, pat the top of the dough with olive oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Take one of the halves and shape it into a long rectangle by working it in the air with your hands and then lightly stretching it on a floured surface. Fold the rectangle in half, lightly stretch it out a little bit and then fold in half again.
Pinch the seam tightly together with your fingers, ensuring no openings remain.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.
Leave the loaves on the floured work surface, cover with plastic wrap and allow rising for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 210°C
Place each loaf onto a lightly greased and floured baking sheet or baking stone, stretching each loaf gently as you place them, and sprinkle each with flour. Cover the loaves again with plastic wrap and let rise for about 20 minutes.
Cut a few diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf and bake for about 20 minutes until lightly browned.

The Rustic Italian Bread is similar shaped as the French baguette.

Crostini with Spicy Topping – Crostini Piccanti

One of the most important elements of Tuscan cooking is bread-wonderful, unsalted, hard, crusty bread that appears on the dinner table in many disguised ways. Crostini with Spicy Topping is one of hundreds of variations of the Tuscan bread options. This wonderful Crostini with Spicy Topping recipe is so well mixed and camouflaged with other ingredients that it makes it one of my favorite dishes.

Ingredients:
250 grams loosely packed shredded Italian bread without its crust
60 ml red wine vinegar
80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in ½ cup water
60 gr finely minced fresh tomatoes
30 gr finely minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
20 small, thin slices toasted or grilled Italian bread

Place the shredded Italian bread in a medium-size bowl with the vinegar and let soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze the bread with your hands to remove the excess vinegar. Wipe the bowl clean and return the bread to the bowl with the olive oil, tomato paste mixture, tomatoes, onion, parsley, capers and garlic,
season with salt and red pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon to completely blend all the ingredients.
Spread the topping over the toasted Italian bread and serve.

Makes 20 Crostini with Spicy Topping

Crostini alla Mozzarella – Crostini with Baked Mozzarella

Bread and mozzarella is a very important combination in Italy and these simple crostini with baked mozzarella are a must on any party list. This easy and tasty crostini alla mozzarella recipe suits as an appetizer in about any setting, your home or restaurant.
Simply the aroma of the melted mozzarella and the sautéed garlic, anchovies and the sun-dried tomatoes will have anyone wanting to taste these crostini alla mozzarella immediately.

Ingredients for the Crostini alla Mozzarella:
12 small, thin slices toasted or grilled Italian bread
300 gr mozzarella, cut into 12 slices
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
40 gr sun dried tomatoes

Preheat the oven 220°C
Top each slice of bread with one slice of mozzarella and place on a lightly baked sheet. Bake about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and almost completely melted. Meanwhile ,heat the butter and oil in a small sauté pan over low heat, add garlic, anchovies and tomatoes and sauté, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven, put some of the hot garlic mixture over each slice then serve the Crostini alla Mozzarella at once.

Makes 12 portions

Bruschetta con Spinaci – Tuscan Garlic Bread with Spinach

In Toscana a bruschetta is called fettunta,”oily slice”. In Roma and known worldwide it is called bruschetta. In many places all over Italy it might not even have a definite name, but one thing is for sure, there is nothing better and more basic than a slice of good crusty bread rubbed lightly with garlic and dribbled with extra virgin olive oil. Today this simple preparation has been updated and the bread is topped by a variety of ingredients.

Ingredients for the Bruschetta con Spinaci:

8 slices crusty Italian bread, cut ½ inch thick
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed thoroughly, dried and stems removed
0.1L of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 220°C, brush the bread on both sides with olive oil, place it on a baking sheet, and bake until it is lightly golden on both sides about 5 minutes.
If using fresh spinach, place in a large saucepan over medium heat with 0.2L of water and a pinch of salt. Cook until the spinach is soft 2 to 3 minutes, drain and squeeze very well in-order to remove excess water.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the spinach, season with salt and several grinds of pepper and cook, stirring roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let the spinach cool slightly, then spread over the toasted bread and serve.

A few drizzles of fresh lemon juice give the Bruschetta con Spinaci a wonderful flavor as well.

Makes 4 servings

Have you ever considered preparing a whole wheat pizza dough? Not only does this have a super flavorful taste, it is also beneficial for your health. Whole wheat is nutritionally superior to refined flour. Much richer in protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and lowers the incidence of obesity and a lot of diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.

Ingredients for the whole wheat pizza dough:

1 tablespoon granulated sugar or local honey
300 ml warm water* (43°C), use a little to dissolve the salt
1 package of fresh yeast
150 gram all-purpose flour*
250 grams whole wheat flour*
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
6 cl olive oil

Steps to prepare the whole wheat pizza dough:

Dissolve honey in warm water and add yeast.
In a separate bowl, combine flours.
Allow to rest until the yeast foams slightly (approx. 5 minutes).
Combine all of the flour in a bowl.
Pour the yeast mixture and oil.
Knead the mixture, after about 2 minutes add the salt (dissolved in warm water) gradually adding enough of the remaining flour mixture so that the dough is no longer sticky.
Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (another 4 – 6 minutes with the dough mixer).
Shape the dough into a ball and put in a large slightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it with the oil.
Allow to rise until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature).
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. This will make two 30 cm pizzas.
Shape each portion into a 30 cm circle either by hand or with a rolling pin, stretching out as necessary to achieve a nice and thin dough.
For a lighter crust, let the dough sit for a half hour after shaping before constructing pizza and baking.
Spread sauce over crust and top with cheese and desired toppings.
Allow to rest in a warm location for 15 minutes.
Bake in a 220°C degree oven until crust is golden, about 20 minutes.
You will be amazed on the difference of the whole wheat pizza dough versus the traditional recipe.

*the water and flour ratio may change due to several considerations, such as storage temperature, humidity, age of flour. Just adjust a little at the time and you will enjoy your whole wheat pizza dough with your family and friends.