Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sweet Potato Pizza with Rosemary Garlic Butter

When I still lived at home with my parents, my sweet momma and I would do "ladies who lunch" and always go the same place and always order the same thing. Both of us. Every time.

In the village next to my parents house there is a little family run Italian restaurant that we just love. It's not just the wonderful food they serve, but the fact that we are greeted by the same familiar faces each time and they give us such a warm welcome. The last time we were there, our waiter didn't even need to ask "Are we having the usual, ladies?"... he just smiled and said "we'll get on with your pizzas then". We loved that!

The first time Momma took me I would have only been about 12, and I felt so grown up and special doing this "Ladies who Lunch" thing. Wanting to be as grown up as possible, I asked Momma to help me decide what to have, as I didn't want to have something I could get just anywhere and I knew she would know what I'd like. Her response made me laugh at first, because at 12 years old I had never heard of such a thing- potato on a pizza?! She promised me I'd love it though, so I decided to trust her... I am so glad I did! From that day it became my favourite pizza topping, but nowhere got it quite as right as 'our' restaurant. So we made it our tradition; when we lunched, we would always go to Dante's and we would always order a potato pizza- a beautiful thin and crispy base topped with garlic butter, thinly sliced potatoes (which go wonderfully soft in the middle and slightly chewy round the edges), buffalo mozzarella and fresh rosemary. Perfection.

As perfect as that is, being me I couldn't help but put my own little twist on it. Rather than regular potatoes we decided to use sweet potato for their strong flavour (and sweetness) as well as the colour splash. The garlic butter cuts through the sweetness and the rosemary lifts the whole concoction to a yummy delight.

Being impatient, and having other things to do with my evening (namely redecorate our bedroom!) I didn't want to wait for a regular pizza dough to rise, and I have been desperate to try out this Skillet Pizza by Kita from Pass the Sushi who uses beer to make a delicious thin crust pizza base in a pan! So exciting! Well, I find it exciting. Kita is so clever- please do head on over to visit her blog to get the recipe. Because we were having potato on our pizza and we were concerned that it wouldn't cook well using the pan method, we baked ours in the oven- and it worked so well! The crust had a really great flavour, it was crunchy without being dry, and it held up really well under the toppings even when rolled thinly. Thank you, Kita!

Sweet Potato Pizza with Rosemary Garlic Butter
Serves 2

1 quantity of skillet pizza dough (from Pass the Sushi)
1 large sweet potato, sliced into thin discs
250g mozzarella
Large handful of fresh rosemary leaves, roughly snipped
50g butter, melted
1 heaped tspn minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 large onion, finely sliced, for caramelising (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180c fan/ 400f/ Gas 6. Put your pizza stone/ oven tray in the oven and allow to preheat too.

2) In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the rosemary and garlic.

3) If you would like to add caramelised onions, as Mr E did, then melt a little bit of butter with a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to low, and leave to cook for at least half an hour (until as caramelised as you would like). You will need to stir every so often so stop them sticking and burning, but not too often or they won't brown.

4) Toss the sweet potato discs in olive oil until lightly coated, and season well with salt and pepper.

5) Halve the pizza dough and roll into two discs about 9 inches in diameter. Take your pizza stones/ oven trays out of the oven and place your pizza bases on them. Lightly prick the surface of the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles - only do this where the topping will go, we want the crust to rise a little.

6) Spoon the rosemary garlic butter over the center of your pizzas, spreading it out evenly. Shred the mozzarella and scatter across the two pizzas. Top with the sweet potato discs and then (if using) the caramelised onions.

7) Bake for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on them for the last 5 minutes.

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