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Ultimate Easy Pizza

Something easy to start with then. This is more of a suggestion than a recipe – you will know what you like on a pizza, and the potential here is almost limitless. This pizza is one I made the other night for a spot of last minute ‘entertaining’, and seemed to go down really well.  I used a pizza base mix from a packet, as I happened to have one at home, but it isn’t much more effort to make your own dough from scratch, just a little extra weighing and measuring. There is something satisfying about the kneading and baking of your own dough, even if you cheated a little with the ready prepared mix. One thing I would say is to avoid the ready-made pizza bases you can pick up in the supermarket – their cardboardy texture is far less pleasing, and gives you neither a thin crispy crust or deliciously bready deep pan finish. Here, a simple tomato sauce takes minutes to whip up. I’ve used chorizo in place of the traditional pepperoni, mostly as I prefer it, but also as it seems to go so well with tomatoes. Some people like to spread tomato puree on pizzas, but I think here it can be a little invasive, so I’ve made a simple sauce, but if you prefer you could buy a good, ready made pizza topping sauce.   

  • 1 packet pizza base mix (I used Sainsbury’s, around 150g)
  • Half of a 500g carton Passata (seived tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Thinly sliced chorizo (from the large, salami-style sausage rather than the smaller ones) – you’ll probably need around 15 slices
  • Around 10 good quality baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced (half moon style slices work well here)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 ball mozarella, sliced into rounds.
  • Good handfull grated cheddar and around a heaped tablespoon of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other good Parmesan (which, incidentally, isn’t the stuff in a small plastic pepper shaker that smells of old trainers)

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Make up the pizza base as per the packet instructions. While it is proving, drizzle a little olive oil onto a large, flat baking sheet and brush with a pastry brush to give a thin coating of oil to the tray.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan, and fry the garlic for a minute or two. As it begins to brown, add the passata. Simmer for a few minutes, adding around a tablespoon of oregano, or to taste. Season well.

Roll out the pizza base until it is around half a centimetre thick, and lay it on the baking tray. Bonus points for a perfect circle, although I am not in possession of either the dexterity or patience for this and usually end up with a large, raggedy oval.

Spoon over the tomato sauce, as close to the edge as you can, and then add your toppings. If following my suggestions, arrange the chorizo slices in a thin layer on top of the tomato sauce. Scatter over, as evenly as you can manage, the sliced onion and pepper, and then arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, over the pizza. Finally, arrange the slices of mozzarella over the top of everything else. Carefully put into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and scatter over the grated Cheddar and Parmesan, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden.  

Sliced, this is great served with a simple green salad. If you are making it stretch further and want something on the side, some potato wedges would be nice. And, for me, the ultimate accompaniment to pizza has to be good, shop brought barbeque sauce. Enjoy!

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