May 1, 2013

Alt.pizza

Hello, My Name is Ann and I am a pizza freak.

Or at least, that’s what the prevailing opinion of the waiting staff at Pizza Express seems to be, any time I eat at one of their establishments.

Y’see, although I love pizza, I’m really not that mad keen about tomato sauce based pizzas, and so prefer to go off-piste a bit when it comes to applying stuff to dough.

I remember years ago, finding out about this concept of a white pizza, and being totally bumsquizzled, until I gave it a try and discovered that it was far superior. At which point the aforementioned establishment changed their menu and removed said wonderous items.

Curses.

Anyway.

Next time you’re doing a pizza, why not try one of the following saucy alternatives?

Garlic Butter
Needs no explanation, but has to be carefully doled out so as not to make the pizza so greasy the toppings slide right off when you tilt it to take it out of the oven.

Pesto
Red, green or a fancy alternative (did you know you can make broccoli pesto?), have at it.

Olive oil
Flavoured or not, the choice is yours. Garlic and chilli are my favourites.

Nothing at all
My personal opinion is that this is heresy, but if you have slightly moister toppings, or just want to enjoy the flavour of the toppings without any adulteration, go for your life.

And while we’re on the subject of alternatives, why not try adding a wee something to your dough?

Oregano/Italian Herbs are the most obvious addition here, added to taste.

How about some cheese in the dough? Some nice sharp parmesan would be lovely.

If you were feeling really brave, you could add some finely chopped garlic, shallots or other oniony type things, or even peppers, if you felt brave.

Last but not least, there’s the subject of condiments and garnishes…

I like to add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to my pizza, as it’s about to be eaten. If that doesn’t float your boat, you could try some of that flavoured oil, some dried oregano or chilli flakes, fresh basil, parmesan or just a good old grind of black pepper.

Pizza. How will you eat yours?

Pix

8 thoughts on “Alt.pizza

  1. I was watching Paul Hollywood’s programme and he made one with dolcelatte and garlic with parma ham on top, no tomato sauce. It looked nice, but it wasn’t pizza. Not really.

  2. Just so you know, Pizza Express will still do the white pizzas if you ask nicely – or at least Michelle always used to be able to get them when she asked.

  3. I’m late with my altpizza enthusing, but let me just HEARTILY endorse pesto being involved with pizza in every way. One of my favorite summer variants is dressing the pie pizza with pesto, and then laying nice juicy slices of beefsteak tomato and rounds of mozzarella, sort of flipping the classic tricolore setup on its head.

    I also love-love-love pizza bianca and all its tomato-less variants; I find it a much more appetizing place to put meat, too, since I usually find that a tomato based pizza with meat ends up being too rich for my tastes. Yesterday I met a former coworker for lunch, and ordered a bianca robiolo e speck, which had fried sage and truffle oil on it as well, and it was absolutely bloody MARVELOUS.

    The next time we’re in London for anything longer than an hour, I want to get together with my pizza sisterwives from this week and cook up some amazingness.

  4. I thought I’d explained the pizza express bit, and why they think I’m a freak, but apparently I was too jetlagged to actually type it rather than just think it.

    Anyway, my usual pizza express order is:

    A pollo ad astra pizza please, with garlic butter instead of tomato sauce and no onions please. Also, please may I have some balsamic vinegar. Thank you.

    Some are totally fine with it, most crumble at the idea of a pizza without tomato sauce. Some even have to go ask the kitchen if it’s possible (erm, garlic bread with cheese?), but I’ve never been denied my request.

    A few brave souls have even been intrigued by it, and sworn to give it a try themselves.

    Krissa, your pizza tricolore sounds AMAZEBALLS. I resolve to try this as soon as I have a minute to make some dough.*

    *this may be quite a long time

  5. Our Pizza Express would probably be pretty chilled about it, as they seem to cope alright with my vegan friend bringing her own cheese.

  6. Alternative pesto – made with wild garlic (a.k.a. ramsons). We have a good sized patch growing right outside my office door in the garden, and a huge patch no more than 200 yards down the lane by the stream under the trees (its favourite conditions). Now (right NOW – this weekend!) is totally the best time of year to go and harvest this stuff.
    http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/community/wild-garlic-pesto-recipe

    Wild garlic is also brilliant wilted onto fresh pasta, chopped into a salad instead of imported spring onions or ripped and served on top of a poached egg on sourdough toast.

    It’s quite strong flavoured this year (stronger than normal, IMHO, probably due to the long cool spring). It has a flavour like strong spring onions. Your friends will know that you’ve been eating it if they come within 200 yards of your breath.

  7. Oh – and wild garlic soup. Just make a vegetable stock base (celery, carrot, onion – you know the drill) and then add a massive amount of this stuff, simmer for a bit, blitz and pass through a sieve.

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