Pumpkin and Pecorino Pizza

 
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As seen in the October issue of SO Magazine.

Angela here. This is one of my favourite pizza topping combinations, and it's perfect for autumn when pumpkins are in abundance. The basic pizza base recipe is taken from one of my favourite recipe books by Tessa Kiros, Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook.

This book takes you through the seasons, giving you recipes that are perfect for vegetables in harvest. I love the simplicity of Tessa’s recipes, which use traditional combinations of herbs to showcase the classic rustic Tuscan style of food. My copy of this book is stuffed with post-its, splattered with ragu and has been thumbed over with many a glass of Morellino in hand. Sometimes Brunello, when I’m feeling fancy!

I encourage you to get imaginative and use any toppings on the base. In fact, I sometimes mix this recipe up and switch out the Pecorino for Taleggio if I want something with a bit more of a palate hit!

BASIC PIZZA BASE RECIPE makes 3 large pizzas

  • 7g Sachet of Instant Yeast (or 25g fresh if using)
  • 310ml Warm Water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

TOPPINGS this will make enough for one pizza– triple if you're cooking all 3 pizzas in one go

  • 150ml Passata (I pimp mine out with basil leaves, vine tomatoes and garlic)
  • 500g Pumpkin
  • 150g Pecorino 
  • 2 Chopped Rosemary Sprigs 
  • Handful of Rocket
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1. Start by slicing you pumpkin, add to a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil add scatter with rosemary sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 180c for 35 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

2. Make your dough by combining yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar in a bowl and leave for 5 minutes. 

3. In a separate larger bowl, add your flour and a half a teaspoon of salt and create a well in the centre. Add your yeast mix and the olive oil and stir with a fork to incorporate together.

4. Once it has formed a ball, move the dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until it's smooth and compact. Return to a well-oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 1.5 hrs.

5. Whilst the dough is rising, prepare your sauce. Add garlic and passata to a low heat, add a handful of basil leaves and vine ripe tomatoes, season to taste with pepper if needed and leave to warm, but not boil on the hob.

6. Once the dough is ready, punch down and remove from the bowl. Separate into 3 small balls and leave to rise again for 30 minutes. (At this stage you can freeze any balls you're not using– just defrost before use next time you're in the pizza-making mood.)

7. Preheat oven to 180c and place a baking tray or pizza stone into the oven to heat up. (The baking tray will cook the underside of your pizza like a pizza stone if you do not have one.)

8. Once the dough balls are ready, transfer them to a floured surface and roll into your shape (no need to get too fussy here about circles, my oven trays are rectangular and I find this an easier shape to work with!)

9. Top pizza with your pasatta and smooth over with the back of a spoon, making sure to leave edges for crusts. Top with the pumpkin and a drizzle of olive oil and place on oiled parchment paper atop of the heated baking tray. 

10. Place in the oven for around 10 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden and crispy. Remove and sprinkle over the torn pecorino and return for an extra 5 minutes to melt. Note: You can add the cheese at the start but I prefer the almost-starting-to-melt taste.

11. Remove and toss a handful of Rocket leaves on top and an extra drizzle of oil and serve. 

12. Eat and enjoy! And don't forget to let us know what you think of this recipe (and what wine you drank with it!) by tagging us on Instagram or Twitter and using the tag #WinesUp!