This is supposed to be a quick meal but somehow I never manage to cook anything quick :) though using a ciabatta does cut the preparation time considerably. If I make a pizza dough in the breadmaker, the process still takes 90 minutes. So here are some ideas for toppings - all of which I had at hand tonight. I actually didn't use a ciabatta but a home-made baguette, that's why there are three pieces.
1 440ml tin of chopped tomatoes in thick juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1tsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 bayleaf, fresh or dried, rolled up and fixed with a cocktail stick (this makes it easier to find in the sauce.
1 mozzarella, halved, then sliced
1 courgette, sliced and browned without oil in a non-stick pan
2 tomatoes, sliced and deseeded
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 red pepper sliced
2 onions, sautéd with the following:
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh thyme (dried if fresh is not available)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 ciabatta, split lengthways
1. Tomato sauce
Heat the olive oil and add onion, garlic and red peppers (if used). Sauter until the veg is almost tender. Season with pepper. Add the tinned tomatoes, vinegar and bayleaf. Season with salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes over a lowish heat to infuse the sauce with all the flavours. Don't cover as this will cause condensation and prevent the sauce from being nice and dry. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Sautéd red onions
Heat a little olive oil and add the onions, garlic, thyme leaves and sauter over a high heat for a couple of minutes. Then cover and turn the heat down. Sweat until the onions are soft. If liquid has accumulated, take of the lid and turn up the heat until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Assembling your ciabatta pizza
Spread both ciabatta halves thickly with the tomato sauce. Put on a layer of mozzarella.
Top one half with the onions, chilli and a few black olives on top of and around the mozzarella.
Top the other half with a layer of all the other ingredients. Optionally drizzle the veggies with a tiny bit of oil and season with pepper.
Cook in a hot oven, approx. gas mark 7/220°C, until the cheese has melted and the raw veggies have browned. Serve immediately.
1. Feta instead of mozzarella with sautéd red onions. The sweetness of the onions and the saltiness of the feta really complement each other.