There’s nothing quite as delicious as fresh, homemade pizza. But forget going out to a restaurant in the gripping cold this winter, this delicious pizza recipe from Spier will show you how to create pizza perfection in the comfort of your own kitchen. Topped with basil, Pancetta, and roasted tomatoes, this authentic Italian-inspired meal celebrates the spirit of winter and is on point when paired with a bottle of Spier Signature Merlot!

Pizza with roasted tomatoes, Pancetta and basil

Pair it with: Spier Signature Merlot

INGREDIENTS:

For the roasted tomatoes:

400g small tomatoes
15ml olive oil, for drizzling
5ml sugar
Salt and pepper
For the pizza dough: (serves 4)
2 cups (300g) white bread flour or cake flour
10ml (2 teaspoons) instant yeast
5ml (1 teaspoon) sugar
2,5ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
180ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm water
15ml olive oil

For the pizza base sauce: (enough for 4)

30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 x 400g canned whole tomatoes, pureed to a pulp
5ml (1 teaspoon) sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

For assembly:

1 x batch pizza dough (see above)
1 x batch pizza base sauce (see above)
400-500g fior di latte or bocconcini (soft fresh mozzarella) sliced/torn into smaller pieces
200g pancetta (or thinly sliced smoked bacon/ham)
A handful of fresh basil leaves, for topping

METHOD:

Roast the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 220C. Place the tomatoes on a small roasting tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with sugar and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes until they start to burst open here and there. Set aside.

Make the dough: In a food processor, add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add the water and oil and mix until it forms a ball – it should take about 20-30 seconds. Remove with oiled hands, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and leave to rise for about 30 minutes or doubled in size. In the meantime, make the sauce.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan, then fry the garlic for 30 seconds taking care not to let it brown too much. Add the pureed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir, then bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until thickened and reduced. Set aside.

Assemble the pizzas: Preheat the oven to 230C and place an oven rack on the lowest place setting. Divide the dough into four pieces. On a large, clean, floured surface, roll out each piece of dough, adding a little extra flour, until it is very thin and roughly circular. Place each circle on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, then cover with a thin layer of sauce (use the back of a spoon), some fior di latte, a few roasted tomatoes and a few slivers of pancetta. Bake for 7-10 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are brown and the mozzarella is bubbling. Remove from the oven and transfer to wooden boards, top with fresh basil, slice and serve immediately.

Note: The base sauce and roasted tomatoes can be made in advance and placed in a refrigerator until ready to use.

About the wine: Spier Signature Merlot

The Signature Merlot has sappy fruit and soft tannins, with ripe red and black berries, plums and an undertow of eucalyptus and mint. 20% of the wine was matured in French oak barrels for 8-10 months. The remainder matured in stainless steel tanks with French oak staves. Find it leading liquor outlets nationwide for R69.00 a bottle.

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