Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza
This is a crisp-based pizza holding a filling of herb flavoured tomatoes, with a topping of sliced black olives, peppers, and golden melting mozzarella cheese. To save time, prepare the filling whilst the dough is rising.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Dough Rising Time: 30 minutes
Rolling and Topping Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 15-20 minutes
3 teaspoons (15 ml) fresh yeast
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
2 tablespoons (40 ml) olive oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder
One 400 g (14 ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes, chopped and drained, or 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) fresh tomato
1 tablespoon (20 ml) tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dried basil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
125 g (4 1/2 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons (40 ml) grated parmesan cheese
1 cup (250 ml) thin strips of eggplant, deep fried until dark golden brown, then salted
1 small red pepper diced
60 g (2 ounces) black olives pitted and halved
1. Cream the yeast with the sugar in a bowl, add lukewarm water, and let it stand for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the center, and add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix to a firm dough.
2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Knock the dough down with your fist and knead into a small ball. Flatten out the dough with a rolling pin and roll it into a circular sheet of pastry that will just fit in a 25 cm (10 inch) pizza pan. Place the dough carefully in the pan.
4. Meanwhile make your filling: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the asafetida and sauté momentarily. Add the undrained canned tomatoes or tomato puree, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil; then reduce the heat and stirring occasionally, simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Allow the filling to cool somewhat.
5. Spread the cooled filling over the pizza base, leaving a little border uncovered. Combine half the grated mozzarella with the parmesan and sprinkle it over that tomato filling. Top with the eggplant strips, chopped peppers, and olives. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake in a preheated hot oven (220 C/430 F) for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.