Easy homemade pizza that your kids will love

Flatbread pizza with hummus, and a simple Margherita with Irish mozzarella

 

Pizza is always a hugely popular dinner choice with my kids. My eldest prefers his pizza like the Middle Eastern flatbread maneesh. I just spread hummus over dough once it’s rolled out, then bake it for 10 minutes.

Once it’s out of the oven I cover the top with plenty of chopped flat leaf parsley and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. He folds up the slices before eating them to keep all of the toppings in place. This is an easy option for a vegan pizza. Hummus and thin peelings of courgette is a really delicious topping too. Sprinkle it with fresh herbs once baked. 

A simple Margherita is always popular, especially if you have some delicious Irish buffalo mozzarella. Tinned tuna, thin slices of red onion and black olives is another favourite.

With something so simple and with so few ingredients it’s worth getting good quality salami and chorizo. Here in Cork I head to On The Pigs Back and The Real Olive Company in the English Market, where food lovers are spoiled for choice.

Pizza con patate has been one of my top choices since I discovered it in Florence many years ago. There’s nothing better than a crisp yeast dough topped with thin slices of potato and fragrant sprigs of rosemary. It’s like having your cake and eating it. Pizza and chips in one delicious mouthful. 

For years I have reduced tomato sauces in order to thicken them, but now I take a few shortcuts. I add onion, carrot, sweet potato, pepper and garlic so that more vegetables are included. Any vegetable that I have in the fridge that will add a little flavour and nutrients is suitable.

Adding a tablespoon of ground chia seeds is another trick to thicken a sauce quickly while at the same time boosting the nutrition content. 

HOMEMADE PIZZA

Makes two 

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Ingredients

400g plain flour
1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
225ml luke warm water

For the sauce: 

1 x tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion, diced 
½ stick celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
½ tsp brown sugar 
2 tbsp fresh basil, oregano or marjoram
Salt and black pepper 

Toppings of choice:

Mozzarella, grated cheese, salami slices etc

Method

1 First make the sauce. Pour two tablespoons of oil into a heavy based medium sized pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Sauté for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for two minutes, stirring all the time so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the chopped tomatoes and brown sugar. Season with salt and black pepper.

2 Simmer till the vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Add the basil leaves to the pan and blitz everything till smooth with a hand-held blender, or use a food processor. Set aside. You will only need half the sauce for these pizzas so freeze the remainder. 

3 Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the 225ml lukewarm water and the two tablespoons of oil. Bring together to form a dough.

4 Knead for a minute on a floured work surface, till smooth. Pour a little oil into the mixing bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

5 Divide the dough in half and roll each half out into a large oval shape. Dust an upturned or rimless baking tray with flour and place the pizza on top. Spread the tomato sauce all over the base and top with your toppings of choice.

6 Bake in a hot oven, preheated to 220 degrees Celsius, for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden and the toppings are cooked. 

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