Pizza ai Funghi

Pizza ai Funghi (peet-zah eye foon-gee) is made from tomatoes, cheese, pimiento and mushrooms. Serve with a mixed salad and some Italian red wine, such as Val-policella. j oz. fresh yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

4 fl. oz. plus

1 tablespoon lukewarm water

8 oz. flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon plus

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped pimiento

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Crumble the yeast into a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar and the 1 tablespoon of water and cream the water and yeast together. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour and salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and the remaining water.

Using your fingers or a spatula, gradu-ally draw the flour into the liquids. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for about 10 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Dust

Mushrooms are what make this colourful Pizza ai Funghi really deli-cious. Serve as a filling supper dish. the top of the dough with a little flour and cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small frying-pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry, stirring occa-sionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the mushrooms and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until they are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230°C). Using the 1 tea-spoon of olive oil, lightly grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for 3 minutes. Cut the dough in half. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each dough half to a circle about -j-inch thick. Carefully arrange the dough circles, well apart, on the prepared sheet.

Arrange the chopped tomatoes over the dough circles to cover them completely.

Sprinkle over the basil, oregano, salt, pepper and chopped pimiento. Cover with the Mozzarella slices. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion and mushroom mixture from the frying-pan and arrange it over the cheese. Moisten each filling with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

Place the pizzas in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is cooked and the cheese has melted.

Remove the pizzas from the oven and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.

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