Last Friday, I had a few pals over for an early birthday get together. We had a "make your own pizza" party, which was actually sooooo much fun! In fact, the pizza guzzling (and booze, and games, and RuPaul...) kinda meant I forgot to take any photos all night. I know, right? Terrible. So I thought I'd share a wee pizza recipe with you instead. Adam and I regularly make our own pizzas at home, but we both like really different toppings. I love fruit on pizzas while Adam loves a bit of spice and meat... but I'm really not a fan of spicy, meaty pizzas, and Adam doesn't really like fruity nonsense on his. Dilemma! Thankfully, this is one pizza extravaganza that we both love. It has a béchamel base instead of a tomato sauce, with buttery roasted garlic, sweet pears, homemade pesto bursting with flavour and gahhhhhhIwanttoeatawholepizzarightnowwww...
So firstly, you need to make your base. I'll be honest... Adam always make the pizza dough in our house. Adam bakes various concoctions several times a week, from rye breads to Jewish sweet breads and everything in between. He enjoys baking and tweaking recipes, although he tends to stick to this recipe for his pizza dough, and I've got to say... it works a treat. He uses a baking stone and sprinkles a mixture of flour and semolina to make sure the base stays crispy, and it's pretty much fool-proof every time.
I love having béchamel sauce as a base on my pizza instead of tomato, too. It's just so bloody tasty. And easy- all you need is butter, flour, milk and parmesan. All you need to do:
- melt a little butter in a pan
- add flour and stir until smooth
- slowly, slowly... add milk and continue stirring
- at this point, add a whole garlic clove to give a mild garlic flavour (remove this at the end)
- add grated parmesan and continue to stir
- add salt and pepper to taste (neither of us mind using black pepper, although it does mean there are wee black dots in the béchamel! But when it tastes THIS GOOD, who cares?!)
Once your dough is nicely proved and rolled into whatever shape you want, spread the béchamel onto the base, leaving space at the edges (for the crust, innit). The béchamel should be fairly thick, else it won't stick to the pizza.
Now, time for toppings! Adam tends to make home-made pesto (I know, right?) and I can share his recipe if ye fancy. Obviously, store-bought pesto will do the job nicely, but we make ours extra garlicky 'cos ain't no vampire chowing down on my jugular tonight. We also slow roast some garlic for extra punch, too. I can share the recipe for pesto and slow roasted garlic another time, but you get the idea. So, while
we Adam organises the pesto and garlic, it's time for the fun stuff. In a nutshell:
- tear up bits of the mozzarella and sprinkle over the béchamel
- shave your pear and your courgette (teehee) with a peeler/ mandolin
- chuck these juicy strips of goodness onto the pizza
- squeeze the soft parts of your sweet roasted garlic over the pizza
- add a few dollop of pesto wherever your heart takes your fancy
Woop! Nearly there! Just whack it in the oven (near the top on a high heat) for about ten minutes, or until it's bubbling up and crisping at the edges. Once it's done, let it cool for a few minutes before devouring it. And there you have it. My favourite pizza!
We've both added our own twists over the years, to be honest. Courgette, pesto and pear pizza has become a "standard" in our house, so adding something different feels like we're jazzing up a staple. I really like adding goats cheese for a kick of flavour, while Adam enjoys various meats on his, like prosciutto or even bacon. In fact, it's such a staple that these photos are actually several years old! Adam took these photos for his food photography course at college, and I couldn't resist sharing them here. In lieu of photos from my pizza-birthday party, here are some stolen pics from Adam instead ;-)
Give it a try. I swear you won't be disappointed.