Friday, 18 May 2012

Pepperoni and Pineapple Deep Pan Pizza

I have no idea where I got this combination of toppings for a deep pan pizza from. It's a bit of a hybrid of a pepperoni pizza and a Hawaiian-style ham and pineapple pizza.

While I'm on the subject of Hawaiian pizzas, I'll bet you a million quid that if you went to Oahu or Honolulu and you walked into a pizzeria, you would not find an authentic ham and pineapple pizza on the menu. There may be one there in an ironic stab at self promotion, due to the Hawaiian pizza's fame abroad, but surely the invention of adding ham to pineapple and calling it 'Hawaiian' is a purely English thing?

It's like 'Cajun' seasoning. There are a thousand UK supermarket ready meals comprising a dust-covered chicken breast, calling itself 'Cajun'. I'm tempted to fly one down to New Orleans to ask the locals what they think of it.

Or 'Chicago deep pan pizzas'. Can it be true that it was in Chicago that someone thought of making a pizza base thicker than normal? What were they doing in Italy for all of those years? A huge wasted opportunity by the Italians to claim the deep pan pizza as their own, I must say.

Anyway, enough of my ranting, and on with the recipe. I had my friends Natalia and Fiona over last night for our first ever al fresco dining experience on our roof terrace. The weather was JUST about ok to eat outside, but I decided I could offer something to warm the fires from within - and this pizza was the perfect thing.

Just make sure you use a good wad of dough for the deep pan pizza base, and cook it on a moderately hot 210c to ensure the the base is crisp, while leaving the topping all golden and cooked - but not burnt.

So why the pepperoni and pineapple? Well, I suppose it was because I always quite enjoyed, as a child, the old Hawaiian pizzas that you can get from any old take away place, but felt that the blandness of the ham didn't quite offset the super-sweetness of the tinned pineapple chunks. Swap the ham for a spicy pepperoni, however, and the balance is perfect. Try it, you'll never go Hawaiian again.

I'm calling this combination 'Corsican'-style pizza. Why? Why not.

Pizza making at home is more delicious, easier, healthier, quicker and cheaper than buying one from your local takeaway. I knocked one up in 45 minutes, from making the dough to taking it out of the oven. £1.50 per serving is it will set you back - about a quarter/fifth of the price of the pizza delivery guys.

Serves 4


500g Pizza Dough
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto, or tomato puree
100g mozzarella, grated
100g pepperoni
100g pineapple chunks
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Pinches of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 210c. Spread the dough out onto an oiled baking sheet, to an even 2cm thickness, and spread it with the pesto or tomato puree. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce and dot with the pepperoni and pineapple chunks. Sprinkle the oregano over the pizza and place it on the top shelf of the oven. Cook until the top is golden and bubbling (20-25 minutes approx). Serve hot.

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