Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Night Fakeaway: Meatball Pizza

My eldest son came home from school a week ago, having been on a field trip to taste the food at a local Italian restaurant (I know! How good is that? We never had cool trips like that in my day! *feels old*).  One of the dishes the children had tried, which had made a very serious impression on my lad, was "a really nice pizza with meatballs and lots of stringy cheese, Mummy".  It soon became clear that the mere notion of this full-on 'man' pizza was enough that the males of the household; from the tallest to the shortest, would pester me mercilessly until I caved in  ask me very, very nicely if I would please make a similar pizza for the Friday Night Fakeaway this week.

Pizza is, it has to be said, a favoured option for Friday nights; I have used my bread machine pizza dough recipe for almost as long as I have had the machine itself, and this simple no-cook pizza sauce is easily thrown together and left to do its thing morning, noon or night.

Love-It-and-Leave-It Pizza Sauce

1 tube tomato purée
250ml water
4 tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
fresh black pepper

Stir everything together in a bowl.  Cover it with clingfilm (which I hope, by now, you have learned to keep in the freezer) and then pop the dish in the 'fridge for a few hours; overnight or all day is fine too, just leave it for a bit for the flavour to really develop.  Spread liberally onto your prepared pizza base and cook as normal.

Meatball Pizza

For tonight's meatball pizza, I defrosted some meatballs that I already had, as is my habit, in the freezer, but you can use whatever you have, buy some or make some specially.  Use as many or as few as you like, naturally.

Cook the raw meatballs in the oven at 180°c for 15 minutes until cooked through, then remove from the oven and set aside.   Turn the oven up to 220°c.  Dust your baking trays with cornmeal (polenta) or regular flour, then place the rolled-out pizza bases on to the trays.  Prick all over with a fork, then spread evenly with the tomato sauce.  Dot  the sauce-smothered pizza bases with the meatballs.  Cover the pizzas with grated mozzarella (for the 'stringy cheese' of my son's description), sprinkle with a few mixed dried herbs and finish with some grated parmesan for an extra 'cheesy' flavour.

Transfer the trays to the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked; crisp around the edges with the golden, sizzling cheese settled around the nubbly forms of the meatballs.  Throw a salad of some kind together (I'm still very keen on my Black Bean & Sweetcorn Salad).  Remove the pizzas from the trays to a board,  and slice them into wedges.  Pour a glass of something lovely and enjoy the start of the weekend.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Cath xx

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