Monday, April 11, 2005

Mushroom Pizza

I can't say I ever remember having pizza as a kid growing up in Newcastle - other than the horrid frozen abominations McCain's stocked in the freezer section of our local supermarket.

Imagine my delight, then, when we moved to Penrith and discovered the full flavoured authentic Italian pizza served at Capitano's on the High Street. In fact, there were two pizzerias on the High Street - Capitano's and Renee's. My dad was attracted to Capitano's because it was more of a sit down affair than Renee's - if you dined in at Renee's you invariably had to sit in full view of the passing traffic (the seats were in the window), whereas Capitano's had a proper shopfront with tables and chairs set up well away from the window.

Capitano's became a regular occurrence in our new lives in Penrith. We went grocery shopping every second Thursday, and always began the evening with a meal, either at Capitano's, or at a little burger cafe in the Medibank Arcade. But Capitano's was my favourite. Their pizzas featured proper thin crust with sauce all the way to the edges. When you asked for a pepperoni pizza, you got proper pepperoni - the stuff that leaves your lips stinging - not the lame stuff you got up at Pizza Hut.

Strangely enough, Capitano's was not the most popular of the two independent pizza makers in Penrith. It eventually closed up shop in the face of Renee's booming business. Their pizzas weren't anywhere near as good. But they were to pizza what VHS was to video - less attractive, yet strangely more appealing.

1 piece lebanese bread
2.5 tblsp Leggos Pizza Sauce*
pinch of chili flakes
3-4 button mushrooms - thinly sliced
2 black olives - cut into quarters
1 anchovy - cut into four
60g light tasty or mozzarella cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius

2. Place the lebanese bread on a pizza tray. Smear with pizza sauce - all the way to the edges. Sprinkle lightly with chili flakes

3. Arrange mushroom slices to cover entire surface area of pizza. Arrange black olive and anchovie pieces decoratively.

4. Sprinkle cheese evenly over pizza.

5. Cook in over for 12-15 minutes - until base is crisp and cheese is fully melted.

6. Remove from oven, slide onto cutting board, slice into six pieces and enjoy! Oh! This pizza feeds one hungry person. Don't feel guilty about that - it's incredibly low in fat!

* In Australia there are several different pizza sauces available. I recommend Leggos Pizza Sauce as superior to all the others. Ardmona tastes too apple-ish and sweet. Dolmio has a bunch of different flavours, but it's watery and thin. If you want your pizza to taste like you got it from Capitano's, go for the Leggos Pizza Sauce. And if you don't live in Australia, let me know which is the best pizza sauce where you come from!