Who here gets cravings every now and then? I do! I don’t usually get them bad.. Unless somewhat under the influence of either alcohol or someone else’s opinion. Lately, however, I’ve been craving pizza on a totally irrational level. Not of the restaurant or take out variety.. Because, honestly, takeout pizza in Denmark is utter crap and usually restaurant pizzas aren’t much better.
How then do I satisfy my craving? Well, by making homemade pizza, of course! That way I not only get things exactly the way I want them, I also only have myself to blame if the end result turns out less than fortunate.. Usually, though, it doesn’t. I have to say that pizza is actually one of the few foods that I’m more than comfortable with cooking and that I have pretty much a 100% success rate with. That doesn’t mean, of course, that there is not room for improvements.. I’ll make new neurotic twists every now and then in constant search of a better result. I’m freaky like that.
Anyways, with the way I’ve been craving this particular dish, and with the weird vegan-related bet I’ve set up for Tina and I, I figured I’d just about go crazy if I didn’t cook myself a damn pizza before the game was on.. And so it did.. Call it the last supper if you will, because it’ll be the last chance I have to cook something nice and meat-by-product-like before I start my week of vegan dieting.. This is all so silly.
The end result? Well, pretty, isn’t she?
I thought so, anyways. And simple, too, when it comes to pizzas, nothing beats simple. I think one of the reasons why I don’t like the Danish spin on pizza is that every single pie seems to come with at least three or four wholesome kinds of filling. I like fewer, simpler, tasty fillings that compliment each other without overpowering one another or creating too large (or mushy) a pie. – So tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and olives it was.
That’s not to say that things didn’t get complicated enough, though.. First off, I’m a crust and sauce kinda guy, and having recently fallen for a slow rise crust recipe which pretty much needs to rest at least over night, things were complicated before even really getting started. The second step, sauce, was if possible even more out of control. I’ve never really been too happy with my red sauce.. Despite compliments I’ve received over the years, I’ve always found it a bit bland and lacking in the whole taste department.. So, the goal of today was to come up with a sauce that could be applied in a thin layer as to not mush things up while still packing a decent punch in terms of taste.
The process? Well, a 3 hours session involving buying a couple of cans of skinned, whole tomatoes in juice, separating the juice, removing the seeds from the tomatoes, sprinkling them with sea salt and olive oil, then slowly roasting them in the oven for a couple of hours while making a reduction of the juices mixed with balsamic and red wine vinegar plus spices to create a kind of spicy syrupy/balsamic/tomato-y glaze.. These two concoctions were then mixed with an onion which had been sweated in olive oil for half an hour or so and a couple of cloves of roasted garlic.. oh, and a half cup of red wine, of course! Before the end result was eventually pulsed to death with a stick blender.. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother, but the result was awesome. (Og ja, Tina, der ER mere!)
Yea, umm, so as you can see from the result above, I kinda cheated a little and added a layer of prosciutto ham and a sprinkle of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.. If you’re gonna go vegan for a week, you might as well go out with a bang and use up any non-vegan stuff you may have lying around. Add to that a customary sprinkle of fresh basil, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of rucket flavored extra virgin olive oil and you’ve pretty much got the best pizza I’ve ever made.. And a new-found strong desire to not go vegan 😉 Next week is gonna be interesting for sure.