Unlike the heavier meal experience of the North American pizza, the authentic Neopolitan pizza is usually folded and eaten on the run, or enjoyed as a tasty appetizer to a lengthy meal. The crust is paper thin and typically crisp on the edge and soft in the centre, with each bite an exquisite taste sensation. Few toppings are added, and the pizza is usually individually sized and irregularly shaped. All in all, the flavour is sweet, smoky, light and fragrant: a flavorful experience! Here's my friend's recipe for a classic pizza:
(Named after Queen Margherita, this favorite has the colours of the Italian Flag: Red-tomatoes; Green-basil; and White-Mozzarella.)
Basic Pizza Dough
6 oz. grated mozzarella cheese, buffalo is preferable
¼ c. Italian olive oil
3-4 Tbsp fresh basil
4-5 fresh Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
-Preheat oven to 500 Degrees F
-Roll out pizza dough and brush evenly with olive oil.
-Spread mozzarella on pizza leaving a ½” border for crust.
-Top with tomato slices and basil.
-Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
-Remove Pizza and let cool on wire rack. Enjoy!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
When I was twenty one I stayed with my parents' friends in Chianti, Tuscany. Every evening after a busy day of churches, museums, and piazzas, we would motor back to their four hundred year old farmhouse built in the middle of a working vineyard and olive grove. As dusk fell, everyone would gather in the courtyard for an evening ritual of apperitifs and antipasti. Invariably, we would munch on pinzimonio: a colourful array of fresh, crisp, and fragrant vegetables. Fennel, radishes, celery, peppers, carrots and delicately steamed artichokes or white asparagas - all of these would be dipped into a flavourful homegrown olive oil, sprinkled with coarse salt, and then devoured with unpretentious pleasure. Sometimes a dip of hot crushed anchovies and garlic would be added, but I preferred the aromatic olive oil.