What was the first dish(es) that you cooked / baked for your loved ones?
Share your experience on your first time cooking / baking,
how did it turn out and were your loved ones impressed?
Italian food has always intrigued me.
Growing up, my mom would always keep a couple of boxes of hard-to-come-by and oft-riddled-with-insects Honig spaghetti, which I later found out was actually made in Holland. Sacrilege!!
Anyways, my first attempt with Italian cooking was, of course, spaghetti with beef ragu, which became an instant hit with the family. I was only twelve, what do you expect!
Very quickly, spaghetti and me became synonymous in my family.
I started to increase my repertoire (getting cocky much?!) by making my first pizza topped with... yeah, you've guessed it... the same beef ragu recipe and grated Kraft cheddar cheese that came in a block and had an almost rubber-like texture. Heck, we didn't have much choice back then.
Yeah, that was great many moon ago...
The Family often wished I stick to the good ol' 'what they termed as normal' spaghetti and pizza instead of going off tangent with some crazy ingredients.
No chance of that happening any time soon, my lovelies!
Pizza con Pesto e Gamberi
to make the dough:
500g strong bread flour
1 tbsp fine sea salt
2 x 7g sachet instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
325ml warm water
Sieve the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
Mix the yeast, sugar and oil into the warm water and pour into the well.
Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Put the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl, sprinkle with flour and cover with a damp cloth. Place in a warm room for an hour until doubled in size.
Tip the dough onto a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit.
Once you're ready to make the pizzas, divide the dough into 4 balls, keep them covered.
Put a large ovenproof frying pan on the heat and roll one ball out on a floured work surface until it's the same size as your pan.
Add a little olive oil to the pan and add the pizza base, pressing it into the pan.
Cook over a medium heat until the base crisps and the dough starts to cook through and bubble up, about 5-8 minutes.
Top each with 2 tbsp pesto, sliced sweet piquante peppers (peppadew), fresh shrimps and chopped green olives.
Put under a pre-heated grill until the toppings bubble.
To serve, drizzle with some chili oil.
To make the fresh basil pesto:
a big handful of chopped basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
Combine the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until fine.
Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.