Pizza with za’atar and olives

A little pizza filled with the taste of sunshine!

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For the dough
1- Mix 10 gr of baker’s yeast with 100 ml warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2- In a large bowl mix: one and half cups of sifted flour (I like to mix whole and white wheat flour), one teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of brown sugar.
3- Add half a cup of yogurt and the yeast liquid. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers (add some flour if need be) and knead some more.
4- Place a wet towel on the bowl, and let the dough rise for at least an hour.

For the pizza
1- Place the dough in an oven baking pan. Just spread the dough in a round (or square) shape with your hands with a little bit of flour. Do not use a roller so that it stays very soft and filled with air. Make some marks with a fork.
2- In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon of olive oil with one generous teaspoon (or two!) of Za’atar (recipe here or you can find it in any Middle Eastern store). Spread the mixture on all the dough even the sides.
3- Place some sliced tomatoes, crushed garlic, Kalamata olives and Parmigiano freshly grated.
4- Bake for 35 minutes in a 190º c oven.

Enjoy!

Bagel pizza!

Just perfect when you have little time and plenty of fresh ingredients at hand. I used mini-bagels from the bakery. We had them for lunch, and you can also make them as appetisers.

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For the tomato sauce: 
1- In a pan, place some olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh organic tomatoes cut in slices, freshly ground pepper, a little bit of salt, half a tablespoon of brown sugar (for six medium tomatoes), oregano and other fresh herbs of choice.
2- Let it cook for about 20 minutes on medium fire.
3- At this point, you can add any ingredients you want: olives, anchovies, etc.

Making the little pizzas: 
1- Warm the bagels in the oven and cut in half.
2- Place a generous amount of tomato sauce on each half, sprinkle with high quality Parmigiano-Reggiano shredded.
3- Place under the broiler for about eight minutes or until nice and golden.

Serve immediately accompanied by a fresh green salad. Enjoy! 

Pasta sauce with Parmigiano rind

Did you know you can make amazing dishes with Parmigiano rind? Here is one example, a simple tomato sauce for pasta. The rind will give an exquisite slightly tangy taste to the sauce.

There are many ways to use the rind: in a broth for soup or to cook the pasta; grilled on top of little pizzas or bread with olive oil, herbs and garlic; and many more. To keep the rinds just place them in a closed container in the fridge. They have a very long shelf life!

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For the tomato sauce
1- Just place in a pan some olive oil, baby organic tomatoes, fresh herbs (I used oregano and rosemary), freshly crushed pepper (no salt since the rind will provide some and you can add some later if you so wish), fresh crushed garlic and a piece of Parmigiano rind.
2- Let it cook until the tomatoes wilt.
3- Take out the rind before you mix the sauce with the pasta.

Serve the pasta topped with freshly grated Parmigiano. 

Fondant au chocolat à l’Italienne

A chocolate fondant with an Italian touch – with mascarpone! Rich in taste and light in the mouth.

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1- Melt on low fire in bain-marie 150 gr of chocolate (70% cacao or more) with 150 gr of mascarpone. Take you time. Do not let the mixture boil and keep mixing as the mascarpone melts with the chocolate.
2- In a large bowl, mix 100 gr of brown sugar with four organic eggs. When it is well mixed, add 40 gr of flour.
3- Mix both the chocolate and egg mixtures and place in a prepared baking dish (lined with butter and flour). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a 180º C. oven. The center will remain very soft.

Let it cool slightly and serve. Delicious with berries or kiwis on the side.