Homemade Pizza Recipe

DSCN1032Time: 10 min prep + 1 hour waiting + 20 min cooking

Ingredients: [for 4 ppl]

  • 1 fresh block yeast , 25 gr ( I find it in the refrigerator section )
  • 500 white flour or durum wheat ( this one is less easier to work with)
  • 1 spoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 spoon olive oil
  • 300 ml hot water
  • mozzarella cheese (120 gr ca.)

For the tomatoes sauce:

  • 1 can tomatoes in bits (450 gr)
  • black pepper
  • 1 spoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugarpizza

1. Heat some water up, lukewarm. In a big bowl, weigh the with flour, olive oil, sugar, and salt. With one hand pours some water directly on the yeast in order to make it softer and start working on it. Keep adding water little by little. Work on pizza-mass for at least 10 minutes: in this way you’ll be sure that it’s going to rise properly. When your mass start getting elasticity and solidity, it is ready to rest( fig 3. top line on the right).

2. Put your pizza-mass in dry place – I usually use the inside of the oven – and cover it with a thick cloth. Wait 1 hour.In the meanwhile let’s make the tomatoes sauce: in a little bowl, just mix all the ingredients and let them soak up together.

3. After 1 hour your pizza will be ready to be cook. Oil your baking tray carefully and put some oil on your fingertips also. In this way it would be easier to work your mass without get it sticky. Stretch it out with your hands till it gets a good thin layer.

4.  Pre-heat the oven 200°c.

5. Put generously your tomatoes salsa on it, leaving borders free and add mozzarella cheese. Toss it in the oven for 20 minutes. If you’ve done a thin layer it will be fully cooked, otherwise no problem, just wait other 10 min. I usually lift it up with a spatula and see if it’s getting gold-brown on the bottom to be sure it’s crunchy and good :)

Buon appetito!!!

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Fratelli Contorno Products Review

fratellicontornoFratelli Contorno is a brand specialized in Sicilian goodies: from typical starter as ‘Caponata’ to different pasta sauces. They offer a wide range of products; in this picture from left to right: 1. Cherry tomatoes sauce, 2.Swordfish and eggplant sauce, 3.sardines sauce( two different sizes),wild fennel sauce, artichoke caponatina. You can also check out their official website to look other products they offer. For most of their products you can find different sizes: from very small portion: for 1 max 2 people, to very big jars for 4-6 people.

Here  you can find their official website( both in English and Italian): http://www.fratellicontorno.com/english/

How do they taste? They do taste quite close to the original recipes, however not completely the same. They are a good approximation to a homemade recipe. As I will show later in this blog, I do use their products,but I always add my personal touch to make them as close as I can to a fresh sauce. To whom live far away from Italy, some ingredients are very seldom available: like swordfish, cuttlefish ink, celery or artichokes, so they really help you to recreate those recipe otherwise impossible to make.

How is the quality? Compared to other brands that offer similar half-ready to go products I find the quality very high. The ingredients used are genuine and natural, no colorants added, no chemical stuff inside. Usually you only find a very little amount of sugar or salt as last ingredients ( so very low percentage), in order to preserve the taste and acidity level. In some recipe they also use olive oil, which is quite rare for these kind of products.

Here an example of ingredients used in ‘Swordfish and eggplant sauce’(jar 2 from left to right):Tomato, swordfish (20 %), eggplant (20 %), sunflower oil, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic, mint, sugar, salted sardines puree, salt, chilli.

Packaging: I really like the packing style, very Italian, with bright color, but mostly I have to say: their cans and glass jars are very sturdy!If you’re traveling inside EU, as I do, you can board them easily.For me it’s a tradition to bring home some of their stuff for the next months when I get nostalgic of my hometown, and they’ve never cracked or damaged!

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Where can you buy them? They are very easy to find in any good quality supermarket, not only in Sicily but in whole Italy. Also, some of their products are sold in USA but under a different brand name: “Cuoco“.

How much do they cost? The price can fluctuate very much. I would say from 1 up to 5 € for big jar ( around 400 gr of caponata). I also find that they can be quite often on sale or promotion ( for example I’ve often found cherry tomatoes sauce for 0,89 cent pro bottle), so watch out!

Vote: A–

For me, overall they are all good products, none of them let me disappointed. I have to say that I’ve still not tried the whole range ( for example mushrooms,tomato concentrate nor pesto etc..)That’s why I don’t speak up with a full A. My only regret is that you can’t find them in the rest of EU! Definitely I suggest to buy one of their products as souvenir from Sicily, so you could recreate for your friends or family some original Sicilian recipe you ate there :))

*All opinions are genuinely my own. I am not affiliated or paid by the company*

Chicken “alla Cacciatora” Recipe

pollo_alla_cacciatora

Time:  ~1 hour and 10 minutes

Ingredients: ( for 4 ppl )

  • 4 chicken haunch (without skin)
  • 1 or 2 can tomatoes sauce (500 gr)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 anchovy ( bottled in oil)
  • 1 glass red kitchen wine ( or leftover from a good one, it’s even better!)
  • bay leaf, pepper,salt,rosemary, salt
  • 2 spoon olive oil

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1. In a saucepan heat 2 spoons of olive oil together with 3 anchovy, with a spoon help them to melt inside the oil. Then, add the chicken legs and fry them both sides. 2. Add a glass of wine ( I am using white because I realized I had no more red)

pollo_cacciatora3pollo_cacciatora4

 

 

 

 

3. With a chopper, cut finely the onions and the carrots. 4. Add all the flavors: bay leaf, salt, pepper, rosemary and a clove of garlic. Turn to low heat and let the wine evaporate.

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5. After the wine restricted, add one or two can of chopped tomatoes, it depends how much salsa you want. You can use the extra-salsa to make a delicious pasta! ( I used two can :) Put a lid on and cook for 30 minutes and it’s done! Buon appetito