My version of Sicilian pizza

I went to wine tasting years ago and I tried a slice of Sicilian pizza and I loved it. Sicilian pizza dough is thick and chewey, simple toppings of cheese, a vegetable and herbs, maybe slices of sausage or pepperoni. At the wine tasting I asked the guy about the pizza and then I did some research and then I started to make my own pizza with various toppings and this was the combination I liked most. I also brought this version to my workplace potluck.

For the dough

1 1/2 cups of warm water
4 cups all−purpose flour
1 tablespoon of salt
2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar

For toppings

300 ml passata (strained tomatoes)
2 ripe tomatoes sliced
1 large red bell pepper sliced
2 cloves of garlic slivered
1 sprig fresh rosemary
10 leaves fresh basil torn
400 gr mozzarella cheese grated
50 gr Pecorino Romano cheese grated
1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
Pinch sea salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
Olive oil
100 gr deli pepperoni sliced (optional)

Put the warm water in a bowl with the brown sugar and dissolve, add the yeast, allow it to sit for about ten minutes in order for the yeast to foam.
In another large bowl combine the flour, salt and flax seeds and mix. Make a well in the flour add olive oil and stir in the foamed yeast water, mix well and turn dough on a floured surface and begin kneading for about 7-10 minutes until a soft dough forms. Put dough in another oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, let it rise for at least one hour.

Punch down dough and allow to sit covered again while you prepare the toppings. In a small pot warm a bit of olive oil and sauté the garlic add the passata, rosemary, fennel seeds and simmer on low heat for about ten minutes, remove from heat and allow sauce to cool down before spreading on dough. Preheats oven at 450*. Stretch dough out to fit a 12 x 20″ cookie sheet using a rolling pin, oil cookie sheet and dust with corn meal. Lay out dough on cookie sheet and using your fingers, try to develop a thicker edge. Spoon sauce all over pizza dough, add basil and cheese, top off with the peppers, tomato slices and pepperoni. Put pizza in oven and use convection if available. Cook pizza for about 18-25 minutes. Ovens vary so check under crust after 15 minutes for doness. I hope you try this one out and again please comment below.

Pinot noir was great with this pizza

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Roasted red pepper feta dip

In Greek this dip has been referred to as kopanisti. This dip is simply amazing, I have made it for parties and people wanted to lick the bowl. The sweetness of the bell peppers, smokiness from the grill and the contrast with salty feta cheese and the spicy chilli pepper gives it a kick. I’ve given out the recipe to several friends, if you like it spicy add more chilli peppers alternatively you can use pickled pepperoncini or even pickled banana peppers for the heat, or just leave it out if you prefer without spice. The dip really can go well with crackers, pita bread, veggies or even chips or crisps.

Ingredients:

2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers
150g. Greek feta or goat feta cheese
1 small chile pepper
pinch dried Oregano
50ml extra virgin olive oil or more as needed, try and use Greek olive oil
handful of fresh basil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Put peppers on the grill or oven broil for about 10-15 minutes turning often to char the peppers all around. When done transfer to a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap while they are still piping hot- allow the peppers to steam for 15-20 minutes. When the peppers now have steamed and have cooled down enough to handle take off the stems scape out the seeds and peel off and discard the charred skin. If needed rinse the peeled peppers under cold water. Combine all inqredients in a food processor except olive oil and pulse until well combined. Transfer to a bowl stir in oil until desired consistency is achieved. Can store in the refrigerator for one week in a sealed container but I think once you taste it it won’t last the day.

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