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26 January 2014

Food: Pomodoro Pizza, "A More Personal Pizza for Your Would-be Significant Other"

All photographs by Randal San Miguel
Most of us buy personal pizzas in Italian fast food restaurants, and we sometimes take our dates there but if you are the adventurous type or you want to impress a girl or a guy, you can make your personal pizza, even more personal by making it.  As one female friend once told me, “who needs a man who can buy you coffee, when you have a man who makes you coffee?” We can also rephrase that to: “who needs a man who can buy you expensive pizza and pasta dishes in high end Italian restaurants, when you have a man who can make you pizza, now that’s more personal.” So all you single guys out there, straight or gay, forget expensive Italian restaurants, stop being Tony Soprano and just expecting the spouse to hand you dinner. Be Atonio Carluccio instead.

Special thank you to my brother, Randal San Miguel, for the recipe and pictures.  This is a classic pizza recipe but you can make it more personal by adding other ingredients to your liking and making the necessary adjustments.

Making your own pizza takes much effort though but part of the charm is your significant other or would-be significant other will be impressed that you devote time for him or her.

A Romanticismo!

PIZZA DOUGH
5OO grams flour
1OO grams semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
7 grams yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
35O ml lukewarm water

Mix all ingredients then knead for 15 minutes and set aside. Let it rise for at least 1 hour.


POMODORO SAUCE FOR THE PIZZA
4 whole tomatoes cut in to quarters
2OO grams tomato paste
Fresh basil
Parsley
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of sugar
1 piece onion
3 cloves garlic
Olive oil

Sauté onions and garlic until they turn translucent, then add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have softened, season with salt and pepper. If you have a hand blender, blend the tomatoes on the casserole. If you don’t have one, use a juice blender then put in the casserole. Simmer for 2 minutes then add the tomato paste. Finally, add the rest of ingredients. You may adjust the taste to your liking. Perhaps you want to make it sweeter, a bit salty, and even spicier.

PIZZA TOPPINGS
Fresh mozzarella ball (shredded)
Sliced olives

Pre-heat the oven to full, or as Jamie Oliver says, “To full whack!” This about 250°C or 450°F. Pre-heat the frying pan as well.

Bring out the dough and knead again to form a ball. Use a rolling pin to thin out the dough until it achieves that pizza consistency. You’ve seen how this is done before. It’s classic pizza dough kneading. If you want a more authentic feel, toss it in the air while listening to Pavarotti. Just kidding.

Once you are satisfied with your pizza dough, place it on a hot frying pan. The size of the pan depends on the size of the pizza dough that you made.

Then spread the pomodoro sauce on top of the pizza dough, place little pieces of mozzarella on top. Add as much as you desire. This is your pizza.  Finally, add the sliced olives, and salt and pepper to taste. Then add some oregano and drizzle the toppings with olive oil.

Now you are ready to put your pizza in the oven. Baked it for 12 minutes then reduce the heat to 15O °C. That’s it!

If you want to make it extra special and you have the extra budget, add some sun dried tomatoes.  Hey, you do not have to buy them if you like; you can dry your own tomatoes. My brother used to do it when he was here. It’s cheap and it will be under the heat of the Philippine sun, which is no different from the Tuscan sun.  (Quick reference to “Under the Tuscan Sun” staring one of my favorite actresses, Diane Lane.)

You may also add 4 kinds of cheese and some anchovies, but just the mozzarella and olives will also do splendidly.

If you have leftover pomodoro sauce, you can use it as pasta toppings as well. Just add olive oil and garlic, chili flakes to your choice of pasta and top it with parmesan cheese. Dinner!




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