Simple dough, easy tomato sauce and gorgeous mushrooms make this autumn pizza a real favourite. Combining the flavours of sweet shallots, tangy tomato sauce, earthy mushrooms and salty cheese give a perfectly balanced meat free meal.
Makes 4 9inch pizzas Bake 30 minutes
300g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
180ml cold water
1 can of chopped tomato
1 clove of garlic crushed
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp mixed dried herbs
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil
350g mixed mushrooms - e.g. large portobello thickly sliced and bottom chestnut cut in ½
1 clove garlic crushed
2 large shallots - peeled and sliced into rings
3-4 sprigs of thyme
200g Talaggio cheese
40g grated Pecorino cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.For the pizza dough, place the flour in a bowl and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the oil and mix. Gradually add the water and mix to form a soft dough. You may not need to use all the water.
2. Turn the dough out onto an oiled work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cut off a small piece of the dough and stretch part of it as thinly as you can. If you can see the shadow of your fingers through the dough - the light should shine through the dough like a window pane - without the dough tearing, it is ready to prove. .
3. Make the tomato sauce by tipping the can of tomatoes into a frying pan. On a medium to high heat cook until the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining sauce ingredients. Leave to cool.
4. Next prepare the topping. Heat the olive oil and butter together in a frying pan until the butter begins to foam. In batches add the mushrooms cut side down and leave to cook so they begin to turn brown. Don’t be tempted to shake the pan or stir. Turn the mushrooms over and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and place in a sieve over a bowl, this allows any liquid to drain. Cook the remaining mushrooms the same way, you may need to add a little extra oil and butter to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.
5. In the same pan quicklywilt the spinach with the garlic. Remove from the pan and place in a sieve over a bowl to remove any excess liquid. Use the pan again to soften the shallot rings.
6. Divide the dough mix into four balls. Roll out on a floured surface into thin circles approx. 22cm/ 9 inches. Place each circle on a piece of baking paper and onto flat baking tray or a plastic chopping board, (so the pizza can be easily transferred to the oven later)
7. Place a pizza stone or an upturned baking trays into the oven and heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 (in a non-fan oven).
8. To assemble the pizzas spread a little of the tomato sauce on the base. Top with the cooked mushrooms and dot with spinach. Add chunks of the Talaggio cheese and sprinkle with pecorino and thyme leaves.
9. When ready to bake, slide the pizza directly onto the hot pizza stone or baking trays and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the base is golden-brown and the topping is bubbling.