“Pizza” from “The Magic Fridge”

An important thing to know about our house: Pizza is a religion.

(As it happens, this is also true at Kirstin’s house, which is one of the many reasons why we are such good friends. We swap pizza tips, such as the time she told me about the steel plate for the bottom of her oven she bought for Tom to make better pizza. I then sourced my own type for Tim, which he got for Christmas. Everyone wins.)

We take it very, very seriously. Tim is the Pizza Maker in Charge, but as late I have found that I need to take over this serious responsibility as work demands have sent him half a world away until December. Tim now has an extremely complicated dough and yeast system that I can’t even begin to fathom, so I was quite happy to see this recipe for pizza in Magic Fridge.

The recipe is fantastic. Good instructions and the dough turned out great. Where things went horribly wrong– and this truly was operator error, rather than the fault of the cookbook– was when it came time to bake them. I was distracted by “Strictly Come Dancing”, so I just set the timer for 10 minutes and left the kitchen.  This was a mistake.

When I returned, the pizza on the top shelf was burned on the top, the pizza on the aforementioned steel plate was burned on the bottom, but the pizza in the middle was one for Goldlilocks because it was Just Right. But I vowed to fix the problem.

So when I made pizza the next time, I put the timer on for only 8 minutes and I didn’t leave the kitchen. I also checked on them periodically during the baking time. Guess what? They were perfect*. Another win for “The Magic Fridge.”

*Still not as good as Tim’s, but you can’t have everything. He just needs to come back and resume his pizza-making responsibilities.

“Pizza” from “The Magic Fridge”

“Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Olives” from “Dinner”

Kirstin: We love pizza. We have it every weekend and having played around with the dough recipes, we’ve decided the best one is the Roberta’s recipe from the New York Times. But then that leaves the question of the toppings!

Tom: Nduja know what my favourite topping is?

Kirstin: I knew you were going to say that.

Tom: I’m just trying to do Nduja right thing. Anyway, you were saying…

Kirstin: So I liked the look of this recipe with broccoli, ricotta and olives. Normally we don’t cook the toppings — we just use olives, prosciutto, passata, garlic…

Tom: And Nduja!

Kirstin: Yes, and that. Anyway, this recipe involves cooking the broccoli, garlic and chilli flakes, and then you chop it up and add the olives.

Tom: And then bung that on the pizza, plus ricotta and olive oil. And salt. And a few more chilli flakes. It was fab!

Kirstin: I loved it. I would do that again. Would you?

Tom: Amazingly, yes. Normally I don’t like pizzas without meat, but this was great!

Kirstin: I think I would add some jalapeño. I’m surprised she didn’t.

Tom: Everything is better with more jalapeño!

“Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Olives” from “Dinner”

“Basic Pizza Dough” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

Peter: I should have stuck to Bill’s recipe and only used the strong white bread flour rather than combining it with the ’00’ I’m trying to use up.

Anna: It all went a bit wrong didn’t it?

Peter: It just got too sticky. Which is why I should have followed the recipe. This one, in contrast to other recipes, uses honey to feed the yeast rather than sugar. Could you taste it in the dough, Wife?

Anna: I could actually. It was definitely sweeter than normal. I’m not sure if I’m that keen.

Peter: The quantities are a bit dubious. There’s not as much flour as there usually is. It’s supposed to be a recipe for four but we only got 3 pizzas out of it.

Anna: So will you use this recipe again?

Peter: I’ll give it a go with the right flour. But the recipe from Jamie’s Italy still gets my vote for now.

“Basic Pizza Dough” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

“Meatzza” from “Nigellissima”

Want to try the Meatzza yourself? The recipe can be found on the Nigella Lawson website by clicking through on this link.

Maureen: So I think this is like a meatloaf, but in the shape of a pizza. What do you think?

Nicholas (9): Is this from the new cookbook?

Maureen: Yes. Nigella’s latest tome, which is all Italian cooking. I think we will enjoy this month.

Andrew (Now 13! Happy Birthday!): It’s OK. These are two things that don’t need to go together. They work fine together, but I don’t see the point. Either have pizza or have meatloaf. Why make it one thing?

Nicholas: I think it’s AMAZING. It’s like a meatloaf, but with the added tomato sauce and cheese on top. Delicious.

Maureen: I’m with Nicholas on this one. I think it’s good, and I suspect that I will make it again.

Andrew: Don’t get me wrong. It’s good, but it’s not my favourite.

Maureen: I don’t know, with time it might become your favourite.

Andrew: Nah.

Tim: I’m with Andrew on this one. I don’t see the point of this.

Maureen: What do you mean? It’s not meatloaf, it’s not pizza: It’s meatzza!

Tim: Nope. Not buying it.

Maureen: A house divided on the Meatzza. Controversial.

“Meatzza” from “Nigellissima”

“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.

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

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