Pizza alle Asciughe

Perfect for those who love the taste of anchovies, Pizza alle Asciughe (peet-zah ah-lay ah-shoo-gay) may be served with crusty rolls and lots of red wine.

½ 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 small onions, thinly sliced and pushed out into rings

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato puree

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

4 oz. canned tuna, drained and flaked

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 6 anchovy fillets, halved 4 stuffed olives, halved

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 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 medium-sized saucepan heat the 1 table-spoon of olive oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are soft and trans-lucent but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, the tomato puree, basil, oregano and pepper. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes or until it has reduced and thickened. Stir in the parsley and tuna and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450 CF (Gas Mark 8,230°C). With the 1 teaspoon 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

½ inch thick. Carefully arrange the dough circles, well apart, on the prepared baking sheet.

Spoon half of the tomato sauce on to each dough circle and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Top with the Mozzarella slices and arrange the anchovy fillets and olives 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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