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There’s no delicate way of saying this. I’m up the duff again. Up the stick, some might say.  Bun in the oven, in the family way and all that jazz.  Which partly explains why I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front. Been off food a bit.  Only really wanted to eat potatos and butter.  And the odd cake.

Now, I’m in the mood for pizza. This mood only seems to strike when I’m pregnant.  Before Molly, I had absolutely no interest in pizza, much to Tom’s dismay. Then I decided I wanted pizza and loved it, all the time.  And now I want pizza again but with no decent pizzeria in spitting distance, and shop-bought varieties invariably too disappointing, it’s time to turn my hand at throwing something together.

With a big fat caviat. These ‘home made’ pizzas really do represent cheating of the highest order. I ought to confess now that I didn’t even consider making my own bases. I couldn’t be arsed. We needed pizza pronto and I didn’t want the faff, or the disappointment of them not turning out perfectly because I don’t have a pizza stone or a pizza oven (Minnie will be getting a knock on the door soon…)

Anyway, the mood took me.  My brother was staying, there was no time for thinking or doing.  Just cobbling and eating. The stonebaked pizza bases I bought were very good too. Total cheat, totally lazy but quick, easy and bloody delicious.

Served with a quick garlic bread, my brother and I knocked these up together over cold beers and loud music.  He drank, I gave orders and somehow we didn’t manage to thump eachother.

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Cheesy Broccoli Pizza with Black Olives

nb.  These were made using ready-made pizza bases that came with the tomato base-layer already in place. For those in the UK, I bought the bases from Waitrose and they turned out brilliantly. A great thing to have shoved in the freezer for emergency dinners. To make your own quick tomato base, reduce a tin of chopped tomatoes with some onion and garlic on a low heat until it reaches a thick puree consistency. Season to taste, adding whatever herbs take your fancy, and spread on bases before adding the toppings described below.

Topping:

  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella packed in liquid (you will use the liquid so don’t drain away!)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup double cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Large Bunch broccoli, trimmed to florets (or could use purple sprouting)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of pitted black olives, halved
  • A few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Method:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and saute the broccoli until soft.  Toward the end, add the smashed and roughly chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, take about a third of a cup of mozzarella liquid and add to a bowl.  Cut the mozzarella in half and mash one half with the flat side of a knife till pulverised and mushy.  Add to the liquid.  Roughly chop the other half and also add to the liquid along with the parmesan, cream and some sea salt.
  3. Spread about half the cheesy mix onto the pizza base, arrange the broccoli and finally add the olives. The mix is quite sloppy but don’t worry. Add more mix if you like.
  4. Bake in the oven on the hottest setting for 15 minutes or until it appears to be ready.

Chorizo with Chilli and Caramelised Onion

Topping:

  • Several slices of salami
  • A handful of chorizo slices
  • Buffalo mozzarella
  • Half red onion, sliced
  • 1 red chilli (or chilli flakes, as much as you can handle)
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Grated cheddar, small handful
  • Grated parmesan, small handful.

Method:

  1. Saute the onion til soft, dark and sticky, adding the chilli toward the end so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Arrange toppings above as you like.  Ours went something like this: Grated cheddar, salami, about half of the mozzarella torn to pieces, onion/chilli mix, chorizo, the rest of the mozzarella, tomatoes, parmesan.
  3. Cook in very hot oven for about 15 minutes or until it appears to be ready.