It’s a hectic time of the year. For good or ill, we are now entering the season of not only ‘Eat and be Merry’ but also of wastefulness and leftovers. And nowhere in the culinary world have leftovers given rise to a dish quite so widely beloved as the humble pizza. So, here for your delectation is a very special pizza recipe entitled Pizza Roberto Stephano. This is, in my view, is the ultimate pizza experience. This is pizza cordon bleu.
This will serve two for a light meal. But even if yours is a ravenous one-piza-per-person household, you can double up – and even leave what you don’t want for later on, cold – which, particularly with Pizza Roberto, is arguably almost as delicious.
YOU WILL NEED
A hot, preheated oven with baking tray; chopping board; cheese grater; and, if you’re really swanky, a proper pizza cutter for slicing up.
● One pizza base, either one you have made yourself or, in this case, a perfectly good ready-made one from the shops.
● A tomato-based sauce or puree to spread on the base. A generous table-spoonful will do (not too much because it will drown-out the other flavours)
● A couple of slices of good-quality ham (or veggie substitute) cut into smallish pieces
● Two or three pineapple rings chopped (or finely chopped pineapple chunks)
● One small shallot or onion, chopped fine
● A few olives, halved
● Approx 6oz (170g) of grated Cheddar cheese (infinitely better, in my opinion, for crispness and taste than the sloppy Mozzarella normally used for pizza. But if you are a purist, go for the sloppy)
INSTRUCTIONS for perfect Pizza Roberto
Spread out your sauce on the pizza base and carefully assemble the ingredients upon it, adding the pineapple last.
Include, at an early stage, a twist of freshly milled pepper (you probably won’t need any added salt) and a little crushed garlic if you wish.
Finally, apply your cheese as the final layer on top.
Handy tip: if you follow this recipe and don’t use Mozzarella, mix your grated cheese with a little olive oil and even a dab of soya sauce before applying, as this keeps things nice and moist.
Pop into your preheated oven at a temperature of at least 200 for around ten to fifteen minutes depending on thickness of your base. Make sure it doesn’t burn on the edges.
Voilà! Serve in handy slices.
A full-bodied red wine is suitable because of the strong flavours of the dish. Chainti for the perfect Italian match, of course. But seeing as Roberto himself is quite partial to the occasional glass of port, you could even try that seemingly unlikely combination. Experiment, and be bold.
And, most of all, have a lovely Christmas!
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