Thursday, September 1, 2011

Almost Meatless Monday - Pizza Pizza and Caesar Salad

I found a fab new pizza pan whilst shopping on Monday (new and everything - not from a thrift store!) so of course a big (because that pan is BIG) cheese pizza immediately went on the menu for dinner. I had a serious craving for a real Caesar salad and bought the ingredients I would need (namely a tin of anchovies, hence the "almost" meatless nomenclature) to make a big garlicky salad to go with the pizza. It's amazing to me how completely the anchovies simply morph into a salty, savory addition to the dressing, without really adding a hint of fishy taste.

I was going to be lazy and buy jarred pizza sauce, but I completely forgot and had to make a quick batch from scratch. To do it I simply opened a can of tomato sauce and added chopped garlic (I used dehydrated), a glug of olive oil, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, pepper and about a teaspoon and a half of red pepper flakes. I let the sauce simmer on a very low heat for probably a couple of hours, though it really could have used more to reduce further. It worked but it was a bit thinner than I would have liked. I was also surprised at the heat the relatively small amount of red pepper flakes imparted into the sauce. Generally I'm not a fan of the flakes, because I dislike the crunch of the seeds, but in this sauce, they were fine. I made a very simple crust out of a packet of fast-rising yeast, about two cups of flour, a splash of olive oil and some salt and water. I let it rise for rather longer than usual (well over an hour) and it ended up being a nice, elastic dough.

I meant to add some fresh basil chiffonade, but I completely forgot. That is a regret, but the pizza was good nonetheless.

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