Bolognaise, feta and rocket pizza


Who does not like pizza?  This is one of my favourite weekend recipes- the bolognaise sauce can simmer and reduce until just right, whilst the home-made pizza dough rise leisurely in the window sill. I aim to use Italian flavours for the bolognaise  just because both pizza and bolognaise are of Italian origin. This also gives me the opportunity to nip back some of my herb plants which encourages new growth.

This is definitely not a low-fat recipe, but, as mentioned in earlier posts, I reduce the amount of sugar and preservatives found in bottled tomato sauce and frozen pizza basis, by rather making my own.  I know precisely what goes into everything that the pizza is made up of, and can make whole wheat or gluten-free pizza basis by replacing the cake flour that I use in this recipe with either whole-wheat or gluten-free flour, which is readily available at health shops these days. You can also of course not add cheese at the end and create a lactose-free pizza, but I honestly don’t know what a pizza without cheese is. This recipe gives approximately three pizzas.

For the base:

1 1/2 cup flour

150 ml luke warm water

5 grams (1/2 sachet) instant yeast

10 ml sugar

pinch salt

45 ml olive oil

Add your flour and salt to a mixing bowl (no need to sift), and make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the olive oil. In a separate measuring jug, add the yeast and sugar and 150 ml lukewarm water.  Mix and leave for 5 minutes until frothy. Add to the flour, and start kneading. The more you knead the softer the dough will become. Knead for 5-10 minutes until your dough feels silky and everything has come together. You should be able to press the dough lightly with your finger and see it return to shape slightly. Rub with a drop or two olive oil (which prevents it to crack and dry when rising) and cover with a damp cloth. Place somewhere warm and sunny and allow to rise for 1 hour. Roll out on a surface that is slightly covered with flour and shape accordingly.

For the bolognaise sauce:

200 gram lean mince

1 brown onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 tin tomato paste

1 can whole peeled tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a dash of olive oil over moderate heat in a pan. Brown the onion and garlic, and add the mince. Brown the mince, then add the tomato paste and canned tomato. I rinse my cans (for recycling) with 40-50 ml water, and add that to the sauce as well. Allow to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until reduced. Add the parsley, basil, and oregano, mix well and set aside to cool.

For the pizza:

Prepared pizza base (above)

Prepared bolognaise sauce (above)

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

5-6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 wheel feta, crumbled

handful fresh shredded rocket

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. There is no need for a tomato base as it is already included in the bolognaise sauce. To assemble the pizza I first cover the base with the bolognaise sauce, followed by the peppers and mushrooms. Lastly I cover everything in cheese and feta, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbling. The pizza crust should be golden and crisp. Once the pizza is out of the oven, add shredded rocket to serve. Bon apetit!

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