Pizzas spell comfort from the word go – stringy, bubbled-over cheese, crackling yet cushiony crusts, and the deeply satisfying medley of sauce and vegetables (or meat, if that’s your thing). They’re what you indulge in when you’re feeling low for no rhyme or reason, enduring heartache, or just facing weekend woes after slaving all week long and have nowhere to turn save for the feed-us-something-delicious-we’re-famished look on the faces of your child and spouse. Also, you are fully aware that the stuff out of your neighborhood Pizza Hut or Papa John’s box just won’t do. And keeping in mind that the pizza you serve them (and yourself) has not only to favor taste, but also factor in nutrition, you get kneading, pounding, and while the dough rises quietly in a warm corner, you hash up a batch of that tantalizing Provençal stew, Ratatouille, to top it with, not to mention the chock-full of cheese. The result is something magical: a peerless lattice of tastes, flavors and textures that rises above and beyond just satiating hunger pangs.
For the Semolina Pizza bread –
- 2 cups all-purpose flour/maida
- 1 cup semolina/fine suji
- 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup to 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
- If mixing by hand – stir together the ingredients (with 1 cup water) in a large bowl, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 15-20 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier. Knead well by hand or using a food processor to get a smooth and soft dough, adding more water if required.
- Clean out the bowl and oil it lightly. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it around in the bowl to cover lightly with oil. Cover with a kitchen napkin.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place, for about 45 minutes.
- Divide the dough in 4 parts. Cover and set aside.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it lightly. Move your hands around the edge of the dough to stretch it out into a 6 to 8 inch circle or oval. Set aside and cover with a light cloth. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 4 pizzas in all.
- Let the pizza rest while you heat your oven to 200°C.
- Baking: After about 30 minutes, transfer the pizzas to a baking tray and place in the oven.
- Bake for 6 minutes. Remove the breads from the oven. Brush lightly or drizzle with olive oil if desired.
Ratatouille Pizza Topping
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into medium dice
- 2-3 baby eggplant, cut into medium dice
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into medium dice
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 3 tsp Herbs de Provence or 1 tsp each dried basil, thyme and oregano
- 1 tsp crushed red chillies
- 5 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped with their juices
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet placed on medium heat and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the peppers and eggplant, toss frequently for 2 minutes on high heat. Now add the zucchini and toss well.
- Lower the heat and season the vegetables with salt, pepper and the herbs.
- Add the tomatoes with all the juices. Bring the sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes or until thickened.
- Cool and use as the pizza sauce.
- 4 pizza breads (recipe above)
- 1 recipe Ratatouille topping (as above)
- 200gms mozzarella cheese, grated
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Olives or fresh basil leaves for topping
- Top the pizza breads generously with the ratatouille sauce. Sprinkle the cheeses, return to the oven and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the crust turns slightly golden and the cheese melts.
- Garnish with sliced olives or fresh basil and serve hot.
Looks interesting! 🙂
This looks absolutely wonderful, what a fun idea!
Tried this last night for dinner with a few variations. Made an alfredo sauce for the veggies instead of adding the tomatoes. Also added some pan fried chicken else my family would not had eaten so many veggies. The pizza crust was a hit..thanks TadkaPasta