Friday, 17 January 2014


To be very honest with you, while I grew up having home cooking almost every single day, being the youngest child in a family with two working parents making their way through large bills on small salaries and two sisters in high school and on the verge of some of the biggest examinations of their lives meant that I very rarely shared a meal at the dinner table with my family. It just was not something that happened very often. While we did tend to eat at the dinner table, it happened individually and at different times.

Every now and again though, my dad would turn up with this giant, and I mean GIANT pizza from a local pizzeria in my home town. They called this particular concoction “the works” and it had everything from chicken to beef to prawns to mushrooms to peppers to corn over a mountain of cheddar. You name it, this pizza had it. It was one of the few things that got us to share a meal at the same time. It was delicious. I might be biased by the memory of a 5 year old version of myself but I thought there was no better treat at the time. More than that though, pizza got us together, to share a meal. I mean, even at that age, this pizza was a gentle reminder of the power food holds in creating bonds and fostering lasting relationships and comforting memories. I suppose it is fitting that the inspiration for my simple salami pizza comes in the form of a new friend, a close friend, from Malaucène near Marseille in France. My friend, knowing of my obsession with food, saw fit to bring me a spectacular salami sausage from his father’s butcher in France. What better than one the most communal of foods to honor this tremendous gift. I am once more reminded of the power of food in facilitating what I hope becomes a lasting brotherhood. Thank you, Benoit!


·         1 envelope active dry yeast
·         1 tsp sugar     
·                1 ¾ cup lukewarm water
·         2 tsp kosher salt
·         ¼ cup olive oil
·         3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour plus extra to dust
·         3 tbsp olive oil
·         1 clove garlic  , chopped
·                2 28 ounce canned plum tomatoes
·         Salt and black pepper to taste
·         1 400g ball mozzarella
·         1 100g salami sausage, thinly sliced
·         1 bunch fresh basil leaves
·         1 red chilli pepper, sliced


-          Preheat the oven to 230°C
-          Add yeast to 1/3 cup water with 1 tsp sugar and allow to sit for 5 minutes
-          Combine the flour with salt, rest of the water, salt, olive oil, and yeast mixture in a lightly greased bowl and turn out dough onto a smooth floured surface to knead
-          Allow the dough to sit for at least half an hour to allow yeast to act
-          Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes in a strainer and transfer to a food processor to purée
-          In a large nonstick pan, lightly fry the garlic for about 1 minute at a medium heat before adding the tomatoes and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
-          Allow to simmer for ten minutes until the sauce thickens
-          Meanwhile, onto a lightly greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roll out the pizza dough making sure to roll the edges to form a crust and place it into the oven to precook in the oven for 4 minutes
-          Remove the dough from the oven and spread the tomato sauce, followed by ¼ inch slices of mozzarella, sliced salami, basil leaves, grated parmesan, sliced chili, and sprinkle over olive oil
-        Meanwhile, place the tomatoes evenly on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and crush the garlic over the tomatoes.
-          Place pizza in the oven and allow the pizza to bake until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling

-          Remove pizza from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving

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