Home made pizza


Homemade pizza. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with this. The ingredients:

  • Pizza base. You can buy this pre-made from the supermarket. Please don’t, it’s awful. We have a sneaky trick to a good base. Get your bread maker to do the kneading cycle on either your own bread recipe or supermarket bread mix. So much better. And fresh. And you can claim homemade.
  • The tomato sauce. At its simplest level, this can be San Marzano tomatoes straight out of the tin, possiby warmed. Alternatively, my easy pasta sauce: heat a tin of tomatoes, a crushed garlic clove, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a small handful of chopped basil. Heat until the olive oil is blended in and the sauce is bubbling slightly.
  • Mozzarella. This can range from the supermarket’s own up to artisan burrata. There’s not much to choose here. It melts and is slightly burned. As long as it’s cheesy and stringy, you’re fine.
  • Toppings is where it gets really funky. My favourite place has the following toppings at the moment:
    • Margherita. As simple as it gets.
    • Goats cheese and chutney.
    • Pepperoni. A classic.
    • Laverbread, samphire, cockles, local artisan lardons. It’s Wales. What do you expect?
    • Nduja. A spicy, melty sausage. Very good.
    • Aubergine.
    • Very garlic.
    • Prosciutto.
  • A white, tomato-less one of some sort.
  • Equally, my favourite Pizza Express topping, the Veneziana:
    • Pine kernels, red onion, baby capers, black olives, sultanas. Such a lovely combination of sweet and savoury.
  • And finally on my list, the one that is the Marmite of pizza toppings:
    • Ham and pineapple. Do this with good artisan ham and the saltiness is offset by the slightly charred sweetness of the pineapple.

And there you have it. The werewithal to make your own pizza. For extra points, make a sourdough base!


Dusty Knuckle Dessert Calzone

Peach, Strawberry and White ChocolateI normally don’t write about the wonderful street food we have in Cardiff, after all, it’s not London. I’m going to make an exception this time. One of the vendors we go out of our way to visit wherever they are, within reason, is Dusty Knuckle. And this time is was their amazing calzone which blew us away.

Their pizzas are beyond anything I’d expect anywhere up to and including in posh London restaurants. The portable ovens are wood-fired clay igloos providing enough heat to blacken the hand-kneaded dough nicely at the edges, heat the ingredients through nicely and melt the mozzarella into lovely strings.

Today’s for us was proscuitto and mushroom, simple but delicious. He often supports the other vendors at Riverside Farmer’s Market on the Taff, for example using Charcutier Ltd’s wonderful hand-cured piggy goodness.

Standing there passing the time about markets, what they’re up to soon and so forth, they forced upon us one of their dessert calzones, in this case Strawberry, Peach and White Chocolate. I was hoping for the Nutella one. All I can say is “wow!”. This is not something that would have been on my radar, especially already being pretty stuffed from a savoury pizza, but it was sublime.

Will nom again!