Buon ap­petito!

Ev­ery­body loves pizza, so why not have a pizza party the next time you en­ter­tain? It's fun and in­ter­ac­tive, and friends and fam­ily can join in and cre­ate their own amaz­ing flavour com­bi­na­tions.

Ideas Entertainment - - Contents -

Host an in­ter­ac­tive pizza party next time you en­ter­tain.

Set the scene

Set a weath­ered old wooden ta­ble and place the piz­zas in the mid­dle on bak­ing pa­per or bak­ing trays so that ev­ery­one can help them­selves. Use un­matched wooden plates and vin­tage cut­lery and keep the colour scheme sim­ple. We used red as our main colour and brought in touches of turquoise and green. Com­plete the pic­ture with ex­otic to­ma­toes in dif­fer­ent colours, bread sticks and fresh herbs in the place of flow­ers.

Flavoured olive oil

Treat your guests with these lit­tle gifts. Fill small bot­tles with olive oil and flavour the oil with herbs, gar­lic and chill­ies. Seal the bot­tle and shake it well. Make name tags and at­tach one to the neck of each bot­tle with a piece of string.

Clipboard place­mats

Type the words ‘Buon ap­petito!’ on your com­puter and print them out on A4 sheets of white pa­per (use the pic­ture on page 58 as a guide). Clip the pa­per onto a clipboard to use as a place­mat.

TRY OUR FLAVOUR COM­BI­NA­TIONS Roasted veg­eta­bles, blue cheese and pesto

Top rolled-out pizza dough with pre­pared tomato sauce (recipes for dough and sauce on page 66). Top with roasted cour­gettes, red and yel­low pep­pers and roasted or caramelised onion slices. Add a lit­tle blue cheese (or use feta, if you pre­fer). Top with slices of moz­zarella. Bake. Once the pizza is cooked, driz­zle with basil or rocket pesto and add a lit­tle shaved Parme­san.

Tomato, chorizo and fresh basil

Use a small pun­net of cherry to­ma­toes with dif­fer­ent colours. Cut into halves or thick slices. Spread on a bak­ing tray and driz­zle with olive oil. Add two cloves chopped gar­lic and the leaves of a sprig of fresh rose­mary, roughly chopped. Cook un­der a hot grill un­til the to­ma­toes be­gin to char. Re­move from the oven and set aside. Spread the rolled-out pizza dough with a lit­tle pre­pared tomato sauce (recipes on page 66). Top with grated moz­zarella. Add slices of chorizo and the grilled to­ma­toes, top with a lit­tle more cheese and bake. Once the pizza is cooked, top with freshly torn basil leaves.

Pizza top­pings

These in­gre­di­ents work well as pizza top­pings:

• Ba­con, ham, salami, sausage meat, smoked chicken, mince bolog­naise, an­chovies, bil­tong, pulled pork, strips of grilled steak, prawns, smoked salmon (add af­ter cook­ing).

• Caramelised onions, roasted or grilled veg­eta­bles (such as sweet pep­pers, cour­gettes, brin­jals, as­para­gus, but­ter­nut), cooked spinach, cooked broc­coli, canned ar­ti­chokes, canned as­para­gus.

• Raw chopped green, red or yel­low pep­pers, sliced onions, cubed pineap­ple, sliced mush­rooms.

• Pit­ted olives, pi­quanté pep­pers, jalapeño chill­ies, pesto sauce, sweet chilli sauce.

Pizza party tips

• You will need to pre­pare the dough, tomato sauce (recipes on page 66) and a few dif­fer­ent top­pings in ad­vance. Put the top­pings into small bowls and fill a big bowl with grated moz­zarella. You can also have other cheeses like blue cheese, ri­cotta, feta, Ched­dar and Parme­san on of­fer. Once these are ready, set them all out on a work sur­face and al­low the guests to help them­selves. You can also have fresh herbs like basil, co­rian­der and rocket as well as sliced av­o­cado for the guests to add af­ter the pizza is baked. Sea­son­ings like salt, freshly ground black pep­per, chilli sauce, freshly chopped chill­ies and crushed gar­lic should also be avail­able.

• If there isn’t space for ev­ery­one to roll out their own pizza dough, you can roll out the dough and place it on the bak­ing trays and the guests can do the rest them­selves. Once the piz­zas have been topped with cheese and other in­gre­di­ents, pop them into the oven and bake for about 20 min­utes un­til golden and bub­bling.

• Guests can share the piz­zas to try ev­ery­body else’s cre­ations or en­joy their own as

they come out of the oven.

• You can serve a salad along­side the piz­zas, if you pre­fer, and you can end off the meal with a dessert pizza (recipe on page 66). This will def­i­nitely be a hit with any chil­dren who are there, but most of the adults will love it too!

Tins with herbs

Cre­ate ‘flower ar­range­ments’ that fit with your theme. Use tomato tins (Ital­ian, if pos­si­ble) and plant a va­ri­ety of herbs in them. The guests can pick sprigs of the fresh herbs to gar­nish their piz­zas.

SPICY CHICKEN, SWEET­CORN AND AV­O­CADO

Driz­zle two chicken breast fil­lets with olive oil and coat with Ca­jun spice. Cook on a grid­dle pan un­til just cooked through. Slice. Top the rolled-out pizza dough with a layer of pre­pared tomato sauce (recipes on page 66). Top with a com­bi­na­tion of moz­zarella and Ched­dar. Add the chicken, halved mini corn and thinly sliced red onion. Bake. Once the pizza is cooked, top with scoops of av­o­cado and freshly chopped co­rian­der and chill­ies.

LOW-CARB PIZZA WITH AS­PARA­GUS AND HAM

Makes: 2 medium piz­zas • Prepa­ra­tion time: 15 min­utes • Bak­ing time: 35-40 min­utes • Oven tem­per­a­ture: 220oc

1 large cauliflower

2 large egg whites, lightly whisked

30ml grated Parme­san

30ml co­conut flour

60ml tomato sauce (see page 66)

300ml grated moz­zarella

50ml cooked, drained spinach

8 as­para­gus spears, halved length­ways

thinly sliced Black For­est ham or ham of your choice

fresh ori­g­anum, to gar­nish

1 Put the cauliflower into a food pro­cesser and chop un­til fine. Steam or cook in the mi­crowave un­til ten­der. Drain well and cool. 2 Mix the cauliflower, egg whites, Parme­san and co­conut flour to­gether. 3 Di­vide the mix­ture in two and spread into cir­cles on a tray lined with bak­ing pa­per. Bake in a pre­heated oven for 15 min­utes or un­til it feels firm. Re­move from the oven. 4 Spread the bases with the tomato sauce and then sprin­kle with moz­zarella. Add the spinach and as­para­gus. 5 Re­turn to the oven and bake for 15-20 min­utes un­til golden. Top with ham and gar­nish with ori­g­anum.

IT’S A GREAT IDEA TO MAKE A LARGE PIZZA WITH TWO DIF­FER­ENT FLAVOURS ON ONE TRAY – PLACE A DIF­FER­ENT FLAVOUR COM­BI­NA­TION ON EACH HALF OF THE PIZZA.

Grilled cour­gette, salami and pi­quanté pep­pers

Top rolled-out pizza dough with pre­pared tomato sauce (recipes on page 66). Top with grilled slices of cour­gette, salami and pi­quanté pep­pers. Bake. Top with fresh rocket once it is out of the oven.

Roasted brin­jal, pancetta and olives

Top rolled-out pizza dough with pre­pared tomato sauce (recipes on page 66). Top with roasted slices of brin­jal, pieces of pancetta (or use ba­con, if you pre­fer) and pit­ted black olives. Bake and top with thinly sliced red onion once it is out of the oven.

Pear, caramel and choco­late pizza

Serves: 8 Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes Bak­ing time: 40 min­utes Oven tem­per­a­ture: 220oc

1 ready-made batch of pizza dough

90g slab of dark choco­late

100ml caramel tof­fee spread

2 pears, cored and sliced

30ml sugar

50ml al­monds, chopped

straw­ber­ries and ic­ing sugar, to dec­o­rate

1 Chop half the choco­late into small pieces. Once the pizza dough has risen, knead it down and add the chopped choco­late. Fold the dough over a few times to in­cor­po­rate the choco­late. 2 Roll out the dough into a cir­cle and put it on a lightly floured tray or oven­proof pizza plate. Bake in a pre­heated oven for 15 min­utes. 3 Re­move from the oven and spread with caramel tof­fee spread. Top with pear slices and sprin­kle with sugar and nuts. Bake for a fur­ther 15-20 min­utes un­til golden and cooked through. 4 Re­move from the oven. Cut the re­main­ing choco­late into shards and add to the pizza. Dec­o­rate with halved straw­ber­ries and dust with ic­ing sugar just be­fore serv­ing. Serve slices of pizza on their own or with vanilla or choco­late ice cream.

Pizza dough

You can dou­ble the quan­ti­ties and make a batch large enough for two piz­zas, if you pre­fer. Makes: 1 large pizza Prepa­ra­tion time: 20 min­utes Bak­ing time: 20 min­utes Oven tem­per­a­ture: 220oc

250g white bread flour

5ml in­stant dried yeast

5ml sugar

15ml olive oil

150-170ml luke­warm wa­ter

1 Put the flour, 2ml salt and yeast into a large mix­ing bowl. Mix the sugar, oil and luke­warm wa­ter. Add to the dry in­gre­di­ents, a lit­tle at a time. Add enough wa­ter for the dough to stick to­gether. 2 Knead the dough for 10 min­utes by hand or use a food pro­ces­sor with a dough hook. 3 Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise. Once it has risen to dou­ble its size, knead the dough again gen­tly. 4 Roll the dough out on a clean work sur­face. Roll it into a cir­cle, an ob­long or to line a large rec­tan­gu­lar bak­ing tray. 5 Heat up the bak­ing tray in the pre­heated oven be­fore you put the dough onto it. Place the rolled out dough onto the hot tray and then spread with tomato sauce and top with cheese and the top­pings of your choice.

Tomato sauce for piz­zas

Makes: enough for 6-8 piz­zas Prepa­ra­tion time: 10 min­utes Cook­ing time: 40 min­utes

30ml olive oil

3-4 cloves gar­lic, crushed

1 x 410g can Ital­ian to­ma­toes

25ml tomato paste

5ml dried ori­g­anum

5ml dried basil

1ml dried mar­jo­ram

pinch of sugar

1 Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Sauté the gar­lic for a minute. 2 Add the to­ma­toes, tomato paste, herbs and sugar. Bring to the boil, then re­duce the heat and sim­mer un­cov­ered for about 35 min­utes un­til the mix­ture has re­duced and thick­ened. Sea­son with salt and freshly ground black pep­per. 3 Spread a thin layer onto the pizza dough be­fore adding the other top­pings.

Roasted veg­eta­bles, blue cheese and pesto

Tomato, chorizo and fresh basil

Pear, caramel and choco­late pizza

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