There were times, especially when I was traveling for ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ when, I swear to God, I would feel this weight of my female ancestors, all those Swedish farmwives from beyond the grave who were like, ‘Go! Go to Naples! Eat more pizza! Go to India, ride an elephant! Do it! Swim in the Indian Ocean. Read those books. Learn a language.’ -Elizabeth Gilberts
Where does one sign up for ancestors who want you to go to Naples to eat pizza?!!!!
Posh is technically my cousin, but in all senses of word, she’s my sister I mean look at us we look like we came from the same pea pod!!). Well she and I had made plans for her come to my home with her gorgeous daughters Emma & Maya… the aim was to have a room full of gorgeousness …. and in the process of basking in the gorgeousness we’d squeeze in some catching up (for Zizmaroo and her cousins) as the mommy’s played with lego’s and braided each others hair. I mean not to toot our family horn but TOOT TOOT! Our gene pool is crazy out of control! SOMEBODY HOSE ME DOWN! its getting…whatever the opposite of sub-zero cool is… in here!!
Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five…like the time I bit Posh’s back in a fight over God knows what!!! Ah! memories!
So Saturday rolls around, I have my breakfast, make friendship bracelets (I KID!), knead the dough for the pizza base (yes… if the title of today’s recipe hasn’t given it away… I was going to make us some Pizza; Not one but TWO!!!) my Mac just informed me that I can pick the skin tone for my Emoji’s! Hahahahaha!👇🏾👇🏾
🍕 Chorizo pizza with a mint & topped with sage & a basalmic reduction drizzle
🍕 Butternut squash pizza with a mint & cashew nut pesto,topped with sage & a basalmic reduction drizzle
I proceeded to call her and find out when they’d be coming by….I do love the sound of my own voice (or in this case the look of characters I type!) so let me cut the rambling short, she wasn’t going to make it…What I experienced next was HEARTBREAK 💔💔💔 ! That lasted for a whole half second when it dawned on me there’d be MORE pizza for me…. So I did a celebratory gig for a min, then I realised what that would mean for my dream of fitting into the size 10 jeans I have been clinging on-to from my undergraduate years….I wallowed in those thoughts for 5 seconds and then put on my big girl panties (they literally are big-girl panties, it’s not a figure of speech!) and like any grown up I threw the friendship bracelets away in a huff and proceeded to have a big girl tantrum…Luckily Zizmaroo threatened to take my Deepak Chopra books (the irony is not lost on me!) from my library if I did not snap out of it! SOOOO I DID!
This post was adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s – Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Pesto Pizza with Salami + Roasted Red Peppers. This is the third time I’m making the pizza (I always do a switcheroo of the toppings) from scratch and each time the results have been impeccable! thanks Tieghan- author of Half Baked Harvest
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the cashew nut and mint pesto
- ½ cup fresh mint
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese,
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the basalmic drizzle
- 1 cup Basalmic vinegar
- 5 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Chopped rosemary (optional)
- Cashew nut and mint pesto
- 200g mozzarella cheese, cylindrically sliced
- 6 thinly sliced pieces of chorizo
- 8 thinly (cylindrically) sliced pieces of butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons cashew nuts, dry roasted
- Fresh sage, for topping
- Freshly ground black pepper, for topping
- Balsamic reduction, for drizzling
✦⊱ཞ Directions ཞ⊰✦
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed. Next, rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours (I let mine sit for 8 hours –Zizmaroo and I went out and got home late…. which will explain some of the grainy photo’s!) .
- The Easy Peasy Way:
Toss in the mint, garlic and cashew nuts into a food processor and pulse it till it’s all mixed up, then add the olive oil pulse again, mix in the parmesan cheese, add salt and pepper to taste and voila! you have basil pesto.
- The not so Easy Peasy Way:
Now if you are like me and you don’t own a food processor you will just have to use a motar and pestle to crush all your ingredients for the pesto,once you have a good consistency, add the salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium sized saucepan add the balsamic vinegar, sugar & finely chopped rosemary leaves and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then turn down heat to keep at a low simmer. It will take about 10-15 minutes to thicken and reduce. Keep a careful eye near the end as you don’t want to burn it. When it coats a spoon, it will be thick enough. You can reduce anywhere from ⅓ to ¾’s of the vinegar
Let the magic begin…or as Zizmaroo would say… Abraca-woogazooo! Magic!:
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C
Lightly flour a counter. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the dough on 2 greased baking sheets ( I used a baking sheet and a cast iron skillet -yes the one I use for chapati’s! ) and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. Spread the pesto over the dough, using as much or as little as you’d like. Add the mozzarella cheese. Evenly place the chorizo over the cheese on one of the baking sheets and on the other place the butternut squash. Sprinkle both with grated parmesan cheese. Add a handful of sage leaves and bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty shmelty! Remove from the oven and top with crushed cashew nuts and drizzle with the basalmic reduction, then dive in and don’t come back up for air until the pizza’s disappear and you are left with crumbs.