“As a relative newcomer to the world of blogging, I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and chuffed I was to hear that I’m a finalist in the MAD Blog Awards in the food blog category.
It’s a lovely feeling to know that people like reading my blog Bangers & Mash and enjoy the recipes I post there. And it’s rather exciting to know that I’m in the running for some rather stylish Brabantia homeware if I’m lucky enough to scoop the top prize. Saying that though, I’m up against some incredibly tough competition, so I’m just happy with the idea of a slap up meal and the chance to wear a posh frock at the awards ceremony in the autumn.
At Bangers & Mash I share recipes for tasty family meals that are easy to prepare, use great ingredients and won’t break the bank. Homemade pizza is a regular on the menu. The children like to get involved in making it, especially kneading the dough and putting on the toppings. As you can imagine, it can be quite a messy affair!
This recipe for slow roast tomato and oregano pizza is a firm family favourite and the perfect way to put to good use all those gorgeous tomatoes and herbs in plentiful supply this time of year.
You do need to plan ahead a little with this one. The tomatoes need to have been slow roasted in a low oven for four to five hours, giving them an incredibly intense, sweetly caramelised flavour and a gorgeously sticky, slightly chewy texture.
Trust me, it’s worth the effort. They taste sublime and are fantastic on pizza, as well as in salads, quiches or served with olives and cold meats as part of an antipasto.”
Slow roast tomato and oregano pizza – Makes four pizzas
For the slow roast tomatoes:
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
For the dough:
- 400g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 250ml luke warm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the topping:
- Passata, about half a jar
- Mozzarella, two 250g balls
- Two handfuls fresh oregano, leaves picked
Firstly, prepare the tomatoes – I suggest the night before. Preheat the oven to 140°C /Gas Mark 1 or use the bottom oven of an Aga.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle on the oregano and sugar, and season to taste. Place in the oven and roast for four to five hours, until the tomatoes are shrivelled but still sweet and juicy.
To make the pizza dough, put the flour, salt, dried yeast and oregano into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the middle and pour in the lukewarm water and oil. Gradually work the flour into the liquid, making a soft dough.
If it’s too dry, add a drop more water. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.
Flour your surface before tipping the dough onto it. Knead the dough by stretching it away from you, then pulling back into a ball. Do this for five minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover loosely with cling film and put in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 or use the middle of the top oven of an Aga.
Uncover the risen dough and punch it back down. Flour the surface again and divide the dough into four balls. Stretch or roll out each ball until you have a thin circle about 22cm across. Place the pizzas onto slightly oiled baking sheets.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of passata onto each pizza, smoothing out with the back of the spoon. Next add the roast tomatoes and oregano leaves and finish with torn pieces of mozzarella. Bake your pizzas for 15-20 minutes and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before devouring. Enjoy!