All three of us at Arthouse Wine are rugby fans with partners who are rugby fans so this Saturday is a big springtime event: Super Saturday when the final matches of the 6 Nations Tournament are played out. Starting around 12pm and ending some 3 x 80- minute matches later and watched with friends, you want to have some drinks and snacks on the go – it can be thirsty work, believe me!
This year, I am making pizzette – little pizzas about 8cm across – in the morning and will dress them and put them in the oven during the 3 half-times. Couldn’t be simpler (famous last words). I have taken the dough recipe from Paola Bacchia’s ‘Italian Street Food’’ cookbook and ordered some Italian pork and fennel sausages and scamorza (smoked mozzarella) from Fratelli Camisa's website. I am aiming to keep us all going on various combinations of toppings including Paola’s: small sweet tomatoes, mozzarella and basil; Gorgonzola, sautéed mushrooms and thyme; Italian sausage (remove the skins and mash the meat with a fork before cooking), mozzarella and courgette. Drink whatever you like – it’s going to be a long day/night - but my mouth is watering at the thought of drinking our lovely Chianti Classico with these. Our Nunzi Conti Chianti Classico is produced in one of the seven sub-zones of Chianti and can therefore be labelled Classico. It will have spent more time in the barrel and the vines, having lower yields than other Chiantis, are able to produce higher quality fruit. The Sangiovese grape here is markedly black cherry in aroma and flavour, has a distinctive taste that is very Tuscan and pairs beautifully with pizza (big or small!).
Click "Read More" below for Paola’s pizzette recipe.
Pizzette recipe taken from Paola Bacchia’s ‘Italian Street Food’’ ©Paola Bacchia.
500g plain (all-purpose) flour
10g instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon olive oil
250ml tepid water
1½ teaspoons salt
40g butter at room temperature, cut into small cubes
Makes 30 x 8cm pizzette
Combine the flour and yeast in a large bowl, then tip onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre and gradually add the olive oil and water. Work the flour into the liquid using a fork, starting from the centre and moving outwards, until you have a rough dough.
Add the salt and a few cubes of butter and work them into the dough by kneading. Keep adding cubes of butter until it is all incorporated and the dough is smooth. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a draught-free spot for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220C (430F) and place a pizza stone on a high shelf.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, flipping it around and over every now and then until you get a roundish shape. Using an 8cm cutter, cut out circles of dough. Using your finger, rub each circle with a little olive oil.
This topping made be substituted by anything you choose.....Place a slice of Gorgonzola on each pizzette followed by a small pile of cooked mushrooms.
Carefully transfer the pizzette to the pizza stone and bake for 12 minutes or until golden.
Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil on each pizzetta, sprinkle over some sea salt flakes to taste and garnish with a sprig of thyme. Serve warm.
Very enthusiastic wine lover who loves a party!