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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Pair of Pizzas

Menu Notes:

  • After researching low-carb options for pizza crust, I based this recipe on a New York Times article on farinata (Italian for 'made of flour'). The Tuscan cecina ('made of chickpeas') is a more accurate description.
  • To make a deep-dish pizza, use the whole of the farinata batter for one pizza. After step 5, below, heat a large cast iron skillet on the stove top, spray or smear it with olive oil, and pour part of the batter in, swirling it around and up the sides. Return the skillet to the stove top for a few minutes until it sets, then repeat the pouring, swirling, and reheating until you have a thick enough crust. Then continue with step 11 et seq.

    The Ingredients (for 2 pizzas, or 4 to 8 servings):

    • 170 g (or 2 cups) of finely ground chick pea (garbanzo bean) flour
    • 8 g (or 1 teaspoon) of salt
    • 3 g (or 1 teaspoon) of freshly ground black pepper
    • cooking grade olive oil

    • 140 g (or 5 oz) of chèvre, a creamy goat cheese
    • 170 g (or 6 oz) of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
    • 110 g (or 4 oz) of sausage (I used a neighbor's home-made wild boar Portuguese sausage)

    • 75 ml (or ⅓ cup) of pizza sauce
    • 140 g (or 5 oz) of Manchego cheese or the equivalent
    • 85 g (or 3 oz) of salami or pepperoni
    • 1 can of anchovies, approximately 10 fillets
    • 12 kalamata-style cured, pitted olives

    • 1 bell pepper
    • 6 scallions
    • 2 sprigs of basil

    The Method:

    1. At least 2 hours before serving the pizzas, place the chick pea flour into a mixing bowl.
    2. Add salt and pepper and stir to distribute evenly.
    3. Into the flour mixture, trickle 470 ml (or 2 cups) of tepid water, while whisking to make sure that no lumps form in the batter.
    4. Add 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of olive oil and whisk briefly to distribute it evenly. There will be about 700 ml (or 3 cups) of batter.
    5. Allow the batter to rest for at least one hour at room temperature and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
    6. Meanwhile, about half an hour before you want to serve the pizzas, prepare the toppings. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, salami, olives, bell pepper, and scallions into manageable pieces. Grate the Manchego cheese.
    7. Set the oven to 220°C (or 425°F).
    8. Heat an ovenproof pizza pan or skillet measuring approximately 25 cm (or 10 in) across the bottom. Either place it in the oven or heat it gently on top of the stove.
    9. When the oven temperature is reached, add 15 ml (or 1 tablespoon) of olive oil to the pan and swirl or spread it evenly across the bottom and part way up the sides of the pan.
    10. Pour half of the batter into the pan and place it immediately in the oven.
    11. Bake the batter for 15 minutes, or until the edges and bottom of the crust are a light, toasty brown and the top is dry, slightly spongy. The crust may have small, fine cracks across the top.
    12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 with the rest of the batter. If it is necessary to use the same pan twice, gently slide the first crust onto a baking sheet and set it aside while the second is being baked.

    13. On one pizza, spread the pizza sauce, followed by the grated Manchego. Distribute the salami and anchovies evenly across. Sprinkle the olives, and half of the bell pepper and scallions evenly on top.
    14. On the other pizza, spread the chèvre, and distribute the chopped tomatoes and sausage evenly across. Sprinkle the remaining half of the chopped bell pepper and scallions evenly on top.
    15. Place the pizzas back into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the Manchego cheese is melted.
    16. Finely chop the fresh basil and sprinkle it onto the pizzas immediately before serving.

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