Quick tips for making pizza and matching pasta

Trying to make pizza from scratch? Unsure which sauce to pair with your pasta? Check out these simple tips for a great pizza recipe and tasty ways to pair pasta with the right sauce.

Quick tips for making pizza and matching pasta

Make a great pizza

Try this pizza recipe. It makes 1 large or 2 small pizzas (serves 2 to 4)

Dough:

  • 350 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) rapid-rising yeast
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) warm water
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

Toppings:

  • 1 can (400 g/14.5 oz) chopped plum (Italian) tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh basil and/or oregano
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 g (5 oz) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 75 g (3 oz) chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 16 black olives
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually work in the water and oil to form a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about one hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, oil, garlic, herbs and sugar in a pan and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Season to taste, then cool.
  3. Heat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Punch down the dough and roll out into one thin 30 to 35 centimetre (12 to 14 inch) or two 15 to 20 centimetre (six to eight inch) rounds on a floured surface. Place on floured baking sheets. Top with the tomato sauce, mozzarella, chorizo and olives and bake for eight to 10 minutes until dough is crisp and golden and cheese melted and bubbling.

For extra crispness: Use a pizza stone or pre-heat extra baking sheets in the oven and put the pizzas (on their trays) on top of these. The additional heat will cook the bases quickly and evenly.

Match pasta with the right sauce

Choose sauce for pasta according to the texture, shape and size of the pasta and the thickness or chunkiness of the sauce. As a rule, the thinner the pasta, the lighter the sauce. Never drown the pasta in sauce — stir it in to give the pasta a light coating.

  • Thin pastas: spaghetti, linguine, vermicelli, and fine bucatini. Thinner sauces usually contain oil, cream, cheese or tomatoes. Examples include: carbonara (eggs, garlic, pancetta and cheese), puttanesca (tomatoes, olives, capers and garlic), bolognese and pesto.
  • Ribbon pastas: includes tagliatelle, linguine and fettucine. This is the most versatile. Match with seafood-based sauces and almost any others except the thickest.
  • Tubular shapes: penne, rigatoni, macaroni and lumache (snails). Serve with chunky meat and vegetable sauces that fit into the crevices of the pasta, including sauces with small meatballs. Also good for thick cheese sauce or baked eggplant Parmesan.
  • Shaped pastas: farfalle (bows), fusilli (spirals) and radiatore (ruffled). Versatile, but best with thicker sauces such as mushroom, sausage and tomato or meat stews.
  • Lasagne: Serve with thick sauces, such as bolognese, or sauces made with duck or rabbit. Usually baked in the oven.

Keep these tips in mind and you'll be able to make delicious pizza and match pasta with the right sauce in no time!

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