“Cheat’s Pizza, Three Delish Salads, Squashed Cherries, and Vanilla and Mascarpone Cream” from “30 Minute Meals”

Time taken: 30 minutes 31 seconds

Kirstin: What did you think of this pizza then, kiddies?

Miles: (stomping foot) GOOD!

Tom: Did you really like it, Miles?

Miles: Yes. But now I want to do a level of “Lego Indiana Jones” with Daddy so we can get that last treasure chest.

Ella: I liked the pizza, but it was too puffy, which took away some of the taste. I prefer the normal kind. I thought the tomato was too thick in places, but that’s because I don’t like tomato.

Tom: Well, I thought that was a pretty good impression of a pizza, given that it took so little time to make. But I prefer doing it the usual way, which takes much longer — though that’s all part of the Saturday-night ritual. And the usual way, with pizza stone and so forth, also results in a proper pizza with a thin crust — not this thick-crust business. But if you like deep pan pizza, where two-thirds of the height of the pizza slice is the the base, then this is a pretty fast way to make it.

Kirstin: I like the salads. Three salads might be a bit excessive, though.

Tom: I can see us making that mozzarella and green pesto salad in the summer when we’re on holiday and can’t be bothered to cook at lunchtime.

Kirstin: Ah, but Faffalenghi has a much better recipe for mozzarella salad.

Tom: But you just throw this one together: mozzarella, pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper. Forget about the lemon zest, though. Not strictly necessary.

Kirstin: It was lovely! It made it like a gremolata! I liked it, actually.

Tom: OK, and finally, the pudding. We are having strawberries because we couldn’t get cherries. The mascarpone mixed with milk went a bit runny, so if we did this again I’d cut back on the milk a bit. Or just miss it out altogether. Sugar, mascarpone and vanilla essence is all you need. We have not counted the time required to chop up the strawberries, because that’s not part of the recipe.

Kirstin: I think that cream is a disaster. The milk has ruined it. What do you think?

Tom: It’s not great. Maybe you have to use full-fat milk. This is, essentially, your balsamic-vinegar strawberries recipe, but without the vinegar, right?

Kirstin: No, not quite. And not nearly as lovely. I won’t be making this again.

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“Cheat’s Pizza, Three Delish Salads, Squashed Cherries, and Vanilla and Mascarpone Cream” from “30 Minute Meals”

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