It is such a joy to be cooking my way through Barbara Small's Italian book Stirring the Senses. Every recipe is a knock out. And this pizza, which is more like a savoury cake than the thin based pizza I normally opt for, is so easy to make. Tomatoes out of a tin, need I say more. And there is no yeast component so you just get straight to it really.
We ate this hot out of the oven, with a glass of red and a rocket salad for Sunday lunch. But it would also be great to take on a picnic, eaten at room temperature, or just cold out of the fridge with the door open the next day. I would have done that had Ed not beaten me there first.
And here is what Barbara has to say about her pizza di lusso:
Before I ate this in Rome I had never heard of a pizza made with a rich butter crust. It is so easy to make - a cinch really - much less trouble than a yeast dough. If you can find them whole anchovies work best. There is a very good brand Oroazzurro. These come in a flat pack in olive oil plain or piquant with chilli. Just slit the anchovy down from neck to tail and open it up. Remove the backbone and you have 2 fillets with its nice silvery skin. You can make this pizza very successfully with canned tomatoes but I prefer to use ripe oxheart tomatoes first skinned by putting them in boiling water for a few seconds. Just cut them in half and open them up. A thick layer of tomatoes protect the mozzarella underneath.
PIZZA DI LUSSO
2 large eggs about 65g each
the same weight in softened butter
the same weight in plain flour
HALF the weight in freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons baking powder
salt, freshly ground black pepper
275g coarsely grated bianco, bocconcini or mozzarella cheese
2 x 400g cans egg tomatoes, well drained OR 600g of skinned and seeded ripe egg tomatoes
5 whole salt packed anchovies, washed well, heads and backbones removed and each divided into two fillets OR 10-12 anchovy fillets in oil
l good tablespoon dried oregano
Butter a 28/30cm flan tin and PREHEAT OVEN 190C
Put butter in food processor and combine with the grated Parmesan. Add the eggs one at a time allowing the first to be absorbed before adding the next. Combine flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a spatula spread the pastry over the prepared tin pushing it towards the edges to make a standing rim. Cover base with grated mozzarella. Open up the tomatoes and lay on top of cheese. Arrange anchovy fillets decoratively on top. Sprinkle with oregano and season with pepper.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.