Rainbow Lasagna

One of my favourite things to do is recipe research. I spend hours reading through food blogs, scrolling through Instagram and flicking through the pages of my cookbooks in order to get inspiration for my next meal. I have seen a couple of interpretations of this rainbow lasagna around and I have been so excited to make it. This lasagna is vegetarian - layered with different mixtures and sauces to create a multicoloured effect. The wow factor is not only in the presentation but in the flavour. This baked pasta dish is worth the effort and is a good way of ensuring you're getting a few of your five a day!

Ingredients

 

12-15 Dried or Fresh Lasagna Sheets

125g Mozzarella

 

For the Tomato Sauce

700g Tomatoes (I used Cherry Tomatoes)

2 Cloves Garlic 

Drizzle of Olive Oil 

1tsp Chili Flakes

Salt and Pepper to Season

 

For the Pumpkin Puree

1/2 Large Butternut Squash

1 Clove Garlic

Drizzle of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Season

 

For the Beetroot layer

1.5kg Raw Beetroot

3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Drizzle of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Season

1 Heaped tbsp Natural Yoghurt

 

For the Spinach and Ricotta layer

250g Ricotta Cheese

250g Frozen Spinach

1/2 Onion

1 Garlic Clove

Salt and Pepper to Season

 

Method

 

  1. Begin by making the individual sauces and layers. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Chop the tomatoes in half (or quarters if they are large) and place into a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, two crushed cloves of garlic, the chili flakes and a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Place into the oven to roast for 30 minutes until soft, golden and blistered. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces and place into a roasting tray. Crush the garlic and add to the squash along with a drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Place into the oven with the tomatoes and roast for 30-35 minutes until soft. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Peel the beetroot and chop into 1 inch pieces and place into another roasting tray lined with foil or baking paper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the leaves from the sprigs of thyme. Toss together and place into the oven to roast for 40-45 minutes or until softened. Remove and allow to cool.
  5. Halfway through roasting all of the vegetables, toss them through with a spoon to prevent sticking and ensure they are cooked evenly. Add an extra drizzle of oil if the pumpkin or beetroot is looking very dry.
  6. For the spinach layer, finely chop the onion and place into a frying pan with a drizzle of oil and the crushed garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and lightly fry to soften the onion. Add the frozen spinach into the pan with a small splash of water to prevent burning and gently soften the spinach. When all the water and moisture has cooked off (about five more minutes) place the spinach mixture into a bowl to cool. Once cool, add in the ricotta and stir to combine.
  7. Blitz the tomatoes into a smooth sauce and place into a bowl. Place the cooled roasted pumpkin into a food processor and blitz into a puree - place into a separate bowl. Next place the roasted beets into a cleaned food processor with the natural yoghurt and puree (its ok if this isn't perfectly smooth - it adds texture).
  8. You should have four bowls of sauces/purees/mixtures now. Place a pan of simmering water on the stovetop (if you are using dried lasagna sheets as we will use this water to soften them slightly). Take a deep lasagna dish and begin to assemble. 
  9. Add a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce to the base of the pan - spread around to ensure it covers the bottom of the dish. Place 3-4 dried lasagna sheets into the water for 20 seconds, use tongs to remove them and place them on top of the tomato sauce in the lasagna dish ( I use around 3 for each layer). 
  10. On top of the first layer of lasagna, add half of the spinach and ricotta mixture and spread to cover the lasagna. Soften another few lasagna sheets and layer up as before. Add the rest of the tomato mixture for the next layer and top with more lasagna sheets.
  11. Now add all of the pumpkin mixture and spread over the pasta to make a new layer. Top with more lasagna sheets and add the remaining spinach and ricotta mix for another layer - top this layer with more lasagna sheets.
  12. Add 3/4 of the beetroot mixture to make the next layer and smooth over. Top with one final layer of lasagna sheets and finish with the remaining 1/4 beetroot mixture. Spread this thinly to create the lasagna topping and finish with torn mozzarella and a few thyme sprigs.
  13. Bake the lasagna in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes until soft and bubbling. Serve with rocket for a scrumptious dinner.

 

Leek and Asparagus Filo Tart

I am constantly on the lookout for recipes that deliver on flavour while not necessarily affecting my waistline all that much! I can't give up (nor do I want to give up) eating my favourite foods and pastry is definitely one of those favourites. This tart is a lighter, fresher option to a traditional shortcrust pastry tart. Its crisp, packed with flavour and perfect eaten hot or cold for lunch or dinner!

Ingredients

 

2 -3 Sheets Filo Pastry

2-3tbsp Melted Butter / Coconut Oil

1 Bunch Asparagus

1 Large Leek

1 Garlic Clove

2 Large Eggs

100mls Milk

Feta and Rocket to Finish

 

Method

 

 

  1. To begin brush a 9 inch loose bottomed fluted tart tin with a little butter. Cut the filo sheets in half to make 4-6 square sheets and leave under a damp tea towel to keep fresh.
  2. Brush a sheet of filo with butter and place into the tin, pushing the pastry into the sides of the tin and creating a rustic overhang. Brush another sheet of pastry with the butter and lay over the last one ensuring the overhang fills in any gaps around the outside. Repeat this process with remaining sheets of pastry (I used 4). Brush the overhang with a little extra butter and place into a preheated oven at 160 degrees fan and bake for 5 minutes until it begins to crisp slightly. Remove from the oven andallow to cool slightly.
  3. Finely slice the leek and add to a frying pan with the remaining melted butter and crushed garlic. Reserve a spear or two of asparagus and chop the rest into small pieces, add this to the pan.  Soften the vegetables for a further five minutes, place into a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine the milk and egg in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. When the vegetables have cooled slightly, add them to the egg mixture and combine. Pour the wet mixture into the tart case and place into the oven (still at 160 degrees) and cook for 30 minutes or until the mixture has set.
  5. Finish the tart with a little crumbled feta and some fresh rocket leaves.

Easter Nest Cupcakes

It's Easter and in my kitchen, that means chocolate and plenty of it. I've seen a few interpretations of birds nest cakes but recently I saw that vermicelli noodles made a really realistic 'twig' style nest. I haven't baked in a while so I thought I would give these birds nest cupcakes a try so that I could share them with friends and family over the upcoming long weekend. I've adapted and modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from I Am Baker (a wonderful baking site - check it out) and created my own little recipe that makes the perfect treat for the whole family this Easter!

 

Ingredients

 

Cupcakes

115g Unsalted Butter

60g Dark Chocolate (70%)

2 Large Eggs

150g Caster Sugar

2tsp Vanilla Extract

115g Greek Yoghurt

40g Cocoa Powder

95g Plain Flour

1/2tsp Baking Soda

1tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

Frosting

170g Dark Chocolate (70%)

170g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

125g Cream Cheese (room temperature)

125g Icing Sugar

15g Cocoa Powder

40-50mls Hot Coffee

Nests

30g Dark Chocolate

50g Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Mini Eggs

 

Method

 

  1. Begin by making the chocolate nest. Place the raw noodles in a large bowl and break the noodles into 1-2 inch pieces. Separate the noodles into individual strands. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave). Pour the warm chocolate over the noodles and use your hands to ensure all of the noodles are individually coated.
  2. Line a tray with baking paper. Pick a small mound of chocolate covered noodles and form into a small nest like shape. Place on the baking sheet. Continue until you have made around 12 and place the nests into the fridge.
  3. Make the cakes by melting the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and yoghurt into a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, mix until well incorporated, light and pale.
  5. In another bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  6. Lightly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just mixed (the batter should be thick and fluffy). 
  7. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases and fill each case 3/4 full. Place the cakes into a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes (or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed). Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  8. Whilst the cakes cool, make the frosting by melting the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool. Place the soft butter and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder and mix into a paste - add this into the butter mixture along with the melted chocolate and mix well. Slowly add in the icing sugar - mix until you achieve a soft and light frosting.
  9. When the cakes are fully cooled pipe or spoon on the icing. Top with a noodle nest and set 2-3 mini eggs on top.

n.b - The noodle nests are edible but are mainly for effect rather than eating!

Broccoli Crust Pizza

I'm sure you've heard all about cauliflower pizza crusts recently. It seems to be increasingly popular as people are reducing their carb intake in favour of this more nutritious option. Admittedly, a vegetable pizza base is never going to be better than a traditional dough base but if you're looking to incorporate a few more veggies into your diet, it is so worth giving this a try. Having made a few cauliflower pizzas in the past, I thought I might try something different and use broccoli instead. It worked. This is a wonderfully nutritious meal packed with flavour and texture - talk about getting your five a day...

 

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Ingredients

 

For the Crust:

2 Medium Heads Broccoli

50g Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Large Eggs

1tsp Chili Flakes

1 1/2tsp Garlic Salt

Black Pepper (To Season)

Toppings:

1/2 Japanese Pumpkin

100g Baby Asparagus

50g Cooked Beetroot

50g Frozen Peas

100g Greek Yoghurt

Bunch Basil

1 Garlic Clove

1/2 Juice Lemon

30g Feta Cheese

Large Handful of Rocket

 

Method

 

  1. Cut the heads of broccoli into florets and place into a food processor. Blitz until you achieve a ‘rice’ like consistency and then place into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Beat the eggs and add to the broccoli along with the parmesan cheese, chili flakes, garlic salt and a good twist of black pepper. Mix to combine. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and tip the broccoli mix onto it. With the back of a spoon, spread the mix out into a flat round like pizza crust shape ( leaving a slight ridge around the outside to create a more stable crust). 
  3. Place the broccoli crust into a preheated oven at 200 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp. 
  4. Slice the pumpkin into wedges, leaving the skin on, and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper - place into the oven with the crust and bake for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden.
  5. Toss the asparagus in a splash of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes until charred. Blanche the peas in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and drain. Slice the beetroot into small wedges.
  6. Place the garlic, basil and lemon juice into a food processor and blitz to break down. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and the yoghurt and blitz again to get a green yoghurt mix.
  7. Once the broccoli crust has baked, top with a few tablespoons of the pesto yoghurt mix and spread to cover the base.  Top with a little rocket. Next add the pumpkin wedges and scatter over the asparagus, peas and beetroot. Finish off with some crumbled feta, the remaining rocket leaves and a final drizzle of the pesto yoghurt.

Bolognese Pasta Bake

This is a perfect dish for a midweek dinner. Simple to put together, delicious and big enough to feed the whole family. Pasta is such a favourite in our house so I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to use it. I recently made a lasagne and wanted to recreate it in a similar way but with less time on my hands and a very hungry husband, I did away with the white sauce and pasta sheets and just combined the delicious meaty bolognese with the uncooked pasta. The dish creates itself in the oven and is a new favourite for us - just be careful when fighting over the crispy, cheesy topping. YUM!

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 Onion

1 Large Garlic Clove

450g Beef Mince

800g Crushed Tomatoes

1 Heaped Tbsp Tomato Puree

125mls Red Wine

Salt and Pepper (to season)

250g Dried Pasta (Penne/Macaroni etc)

100g Grated Mozzarella

 

Method

 

Finely chop the onion and place into a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly sauté until the onions become soft and translucent and then add the garlic. Cook for a further minute, then add the beef mince and cook until brown.

Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree and red wine. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In an oven proof dish, place the dried pasta and pour over the bolognese sauce. Stir the sauce through the pasta and pour over 1/4 cup of water . Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, top with the cheese and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Chinese Fried Noodles

You would think that living in Hong Kong would mean eating Chinese style food more often than not, but for me, that's not the case. Having this blog and cooking from home a lot enables me to explore lots of different cuisines in the kitchen and unfortunately, I don't cook as much Chinese food as I would like. This recipe is one of my favourites. It may not be a traditional recipe, but this is the kind of food that is evocative of the kind of street food I eat in the Hong Kong markets - spicy, salty and packed with flavour.

 

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Ingredients

 

250g Dried Egg Noodles

6 Spring Onions

1 Garlic Clove 

80g Beansprouts

1 Birdseye Chili

2tbsp Vegetable Oil

3/4 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

2tsp Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds (To Serve)

 

Method

 

Pre-cook the dried noodles in boiling water according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep frying pan on a medium to high heat. Chop the chili and spring onions finely and add to the hot pan. Crush the garlic clove and add to the pan too. Keep the onions, garlic and chili moving so as not to burn them. 

After a minute add in the beansprouts and stir fry to soften for a minute. Add in the noodles and combine all the ingredients in the pan. 

Next, add the soy sauce and toss through the noodles to coat. Continue to fry the noodles for a further 2/3 minutes. Finish the noodles off with the sesame oil - toss it through the noodles and serve topped with shards of chili, spring onion and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

The sun is out and my mood is improving already. I'm already inspired to swap up my comfort meals for some sunshine food and these rice paper rolls are the perfect choice on a warm day. An alternative to traditional deep fried Chinese spring rolls, these are raw and filled with a selection of colourful and tasty herbs, veggies and noodles. I serve mine with a creamy peanut and soy dipping sauce - healthy, yummy and nutritious so you can feel positively virtuous snacking on these little bites any time of the day!

 

Ingredients

 

Rice Paper Wraps

1 Small Pack Vermicelli Rice Noodles

1/2tsp Sesame Oil

1/2tsp Chili Flakes

1/2 Cucumber

1 Large Carrot

1/4 White Cabbage

1/4 Red Cabbage

1 Bell Pepper

Handful of Coriander/Mint

Lettuce

2 Limes 

 

Dip:

2tbsp Peanut Butter

1tbsp Hoisin Sauce

1tsp Soy Sauce

Squeeze of Lime

Pinch Chili Flakes

 

Method

 

Begin by prepping the vegetables and soaking the noodles. Place the rice noodles in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Allow to soften for 2-3 minutes and drain. Add the sesame oil and chili flakes and toss together.

Scoop out the seeds of the cucumber and finely slice into strips. Use a box grater to grate the carrot and finely shred the cabbages. Slice the bell pepper into thin strips and place all the prepped vegetables into bowls in front of you (like a production line). 

Take a shallow dish and fill with warm water. Use this to soften your rice paper wrap -place in the water and turn it every few seconds until it becomes soft (but not too soft as it can tear). Place your wrap onto a plastic chopping board. Halfway down the wrap, place a few herb leaves and top with a lettuce leaf. Directly under the lettuce, place a few shards of carrot, cucumber, pepper, cabbage and a few noodles (do not overfill as this will prevent you rolling neatly). Bring the bottom of the wrap up to cover the noodles and vegetables. Fold the two sides of the wrap in (like a burrito) and roll up, taking care to tuck everything in neatly and without tearing the roll. Serve these whole or cut them in half to see the beautiful filling.

To make the peanut sauce, mix the peanut butter with the hoisin sauce. Now add the lime and soy sauce along with the chili flakes and mix to combine. If the dip is too thick, add some water to loosen.

Cauliflower Fritters

I really try my best to keep food waste to a minimum. There's nothing worse than throwing out a fridge full of spoiled fruits and vegetable and I am now trying to utilise my leftovers as much as possible. This is how this dish was created. One of my favourite dishes at the moment is cauliflower fried rice - a delicious low carb, veg packed alternative the more common white rice version. I grated one whole head of cauliflower to make it this week and only used half. Instead of having the same meal again or throwing it away, I wanted to try and come up with something new  and so the fritters were born! These are delicious and a lovely lighter option for lunch or dinner!

INGREDIENTS

 

1/2 Head Cauliflower

4 Spring Onions

1 Birdseye Chili

2tsp Garlic Salt

1 Large Egg (beaten)

1tsp Black Pepper

1 Lemon

Hummus & Rocket to Serve

 

METHOD

 

  1. Begin by cutting the cauliflower into florets and placing into a food processor. Blitz until you achieve a rice-like consistency. Place the cauliflower rice into a bowl.
  2. Finely chop the onions and chili and add this to the rice along with the beaten egg, garlic salt and pepper and mix well to combine. 
  3. Lightly oil a nonstick frying pan and warm gently. place a cooking ring (about 3-4 inches) into the pan and fill with a few tsps of the mix. Use the back of the spoon to press the mixture down into the ring and gently remove the ring. Do this 2 more times to fill the frying pan. Allow the fritters to cook gently for 3-4 minutes in order to set and create a crisp coating. Gently flip the fritter with a fish slice and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat the process so as to use up all the mixture.
  4. Serve the cakes on top of some fresh hummus and top with rocket leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Beetroot and Goat Cheese Tart

This is one of my favourite new recipes. I'm constantly on the lookout for easy, tasty lunches that vary from the usual salads and sandwiches. This tart is packed full of veggies and is gluten free which, for me, is a huge bonus. The crust is made up of toasted nuts and butter (which can be substituted with coconut oil) and the filling is thrown together so quickly with pre cooked beets. Serve warm or cold with salad.

 

Ingredients   For the crust: 1 Cup Rolled Oats 1/2 Cup Raw Cashew Nuts 3 tbsp Cold Butter 1 Sprig Chopped Thyme 1 Pinch Salt 2tbsp Cold Water For the filling: 250g Cooked Beetroot 1 Small Onion Chopped 1 Large Clove Garlic 2/3 Sprigs Thyme 1 Large Handful Fresh Spinach 2 Large Eggs 125mls Milk 80g Goats Cheese   Method   Begin by making the crust. Toast the cashews for a minute in a dry pan until toasted. Allow to cool. Place the oats, cooled nuts, butter, thyme, salt and water into a food processor and pulse into a soft sticky dough. Wrap in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Whilst the dough chills, make the filling by grating the cooked beetroot (I use the grater attachment on the food processor to save mess). Place the chopped onion into a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and the crushed garlic. Pick off the thyme leaves and add them to the pan. allow to cook for a minute or two and add the spinach. Wilt the spinach down and then add the grated beetroot. Cook all the ingredients for a further 2 minutes and place in a bowl to cool. Once chilled, press the dough, using your fingers into a 9 inch tart/ cake tin. It may look like it wont fit but keep pressing, it fits well and ensures a thin, crisp crust. Place the crust in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 12-15 minute until golden. Whisk together the eggs and the milk, adding a good pinch of seasoning and then the cooled beetroot mixture. Once the crust is golden and cooled slightly, pour the filling inside and top with pieces of goats cheese and a couple of extra sprigs of thyme. Turn the oven down to 180 and cook for 25-30 minutes until set.  Serve with salad for the perfect winter lunch.

Ingredients

 

For the crust:

1 Cup Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Raw Cashew Nuts

3 tbsp Cold Butter

1 Sprig Chopped Thyme

1 Pinch Salt

2tbsp Cold Water

For the filling:

250g Cooked Beetroot

1 Small Onion Chopped

1 Large Clove Garlic

2/3 Sprigs Thyme

1 Large Handful Fresh Spinach

2 Large Eggs

125mls Milk

80g Goats Cheese

 

Method

 

Begin by making the crust. Toast the cashews for a minute in a dry pan until toasted. Allow to cool. Place the oats, cooled nuts, butter, thyme, salt and water into a food processor and pulse into a soft sticky dough. Wrap in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Whilst the dough chills, make the filling by grating the cooked beetroot (I use the grater attachment on the food processor to save mess). Place the chopped onion into a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and the crushed garlic. Pick off the thyme leaves and add them to the pan. allow to cook for a minute or two and add the spinach. Wilt the spinach down and then add the grated beetroot. Cook all the ingredients for a further 2 minutes and place in a bowl to cool.

Once chilled, press the dough, using your fingers into a 9 inch tart/ cake tin. It may look like it wont fit but keep pressing, it fits well and ensures a thin, crisp crust. Place the crust in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 12-15 minute until golden.

Whisk together the eggs and the milk, adding a good pinch of seasoning and then the cooled beetroot mixture.

Once the crust is golden and cooled slightly, pour the filling inside and top with pieces of goats cheese and a couple of extra sprigs of thyme. Turn the oven down to 180 and cook for 25-30 minutes until set. 

Serve with salad for the perfect winter lunch.

Stonebaked Pizza

Pizza has to be our number one takeaway choice when we order in, in fact, it's possibly our favourite food and when I have a little time at the weekend, I love to make it at home. It could be a little off-putting, having to make the dough, kneed it and allow it to rise, but once this stage is done, the whole thing is put together in minutes and is the original fast food! I think the best thing about homemade pizza is that you can control the amount of fats, oils and additives that, ordinarily, you may not be able to track. My pizzas are usually topped with a light and fresh crushed tomato and garlic sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and fiery red chilis - but i'll leave that part up to you! Give this recipe a go, once you've tried your own pizzas at home, you might think twice about picking up that takeout menu!

 

Ingredients   500g Strong White Flour 7g Yeast Sachet 1/2tbsp Caster Sugar 3tbsp Olive Oil 1/2tsp Salt 1 Tin Crushed Tomatoes 1 Clove Garlic   Toppings (Pepperoni, Grated Mozzarella, Buffalo Mozzarella, Birdseye Chilis, Rocket)   Method   Begin by measuring out 325ml of tepid water into a jug, add the yeast, sugar, 2tbsp oil and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. When the yeast mixture is ready, slowly pour into the flour and use your hand to bring together into a dough. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and kneed for 5-10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Place into a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.  Whilst the dough is rising, make the sauce by gently warming the tomatoes in a pan. Crush the garlic clove and add to the tomatoes with remaining oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and set aside to cool. One hour before cooking the pizza, place a baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven and set the temperature to 220 degrees.  Allow to get hot. When the dough is risen, knock back and divide into four portions. Roll each portion out on a lightly floured surface into a round (or any shape you like). Try and roll the dough thinly as this will achieve a crisper base. When the pizza stone or tray is ready and hot, place the pizza base directly on to it and top with 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce and spread over the base (leaving a small rim uncovered for the crust). Top the pizza with cheese and your preferred toppings, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and place into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbling. Serve immediately topped with fresh rocket.

Ingredients

 

500g Strong White Flour

7g Yeast Sachet

1/2tbsp Caster Sugar

3tbsp Olive Oil

1/2tsp Salt

1 Tin Crushed Tomatoes

1 Clove Garlic

 

Toppings

(Pepperoni, Grated Mozzarella, Buffalo Mozzarella, Birdseye Chilis, Rocket)

 

Method

 

Begin by measuring out 325ml of tepid water into a jug, add the yeast, sugar, 2tbsp oil and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until bubbles begin to form on the surface.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. When the yeast mixture is ready, slowly pour into the flour and use your hand to bring together into a dough. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and kneed for 5-10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Place into a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size. 

Whilst the dough is rising, make the sauce by gently warming the tomatoes in a pan. Crush the garlic clove and add to the tomatoes with remaining oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and set aside to cool.

One hour before cooking the pizza, place a baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven and set the temperature to 220 degrees.  Allow to get hot.

When the dough is risen, knock back and divide into four portions. Roll each portion out on a lightly floured surface into a round (or any shape you like). Try and roll the dough thinly as this will achieve a crisper base. When the pizza stone or tray is ready and hot, place the pizza base directly on to it and top with 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce and spread over the base (leaving a small rim uncovered for the crust). Top the pizza with cheese and your preferred toppings, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and place into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbling. Serve immediately topped with fresh rocket.