National Dish of Italy Pizza
For the Dough
|warm water||½ cup|
|Olive oil||3 tbsps.|
|all-purpose flour||2 cups|
|Dry yeast||2 tsps.|
Other Pizza Ingredients
|Olive oil||6 tsps.|
|grated Mozzarella cheese||1 1/3 cup|
|grated Parmesan cheese||¼ cup|
|Roma tomatoes (cut into ¼ inch thick slices)||2|
|clove garlic (minced)||1|
|yellow cornmeal||1 tbsp.|
|fresh basil leaves||6-8|
|Pepperoni slices (optional)|
Pizza is considered the national dish of Italy. However, it is popular in many other countries, especially in the West. It is essentially a large flat open-faced sandwich topped with cheese and tomato sauce as well as meat and vegetables.
Directions for Preparing Pizza
- Mix the yeast and warm water together in a bowl, then let it sit for five (0:05) minutes.
- Mix the flour, salt, and oil together in a food processor, then add the yeast and water.
- Allow dough to form, then place it onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
- Coat the ball of dough in a little oil, then place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough sit for one (1:00) hour until it has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide into halves, then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F°.
- Place two baking sheets onto a flat metal baking dish and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Roll out each piece of the pizza dough into a circle measuring about ten inches in diameter and place each onto a baking sheet.
- Smear two teaspoons of oil and minced garlic over each pizza base, then drizzle tomato sauce over each.
- Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese over each pizza, then arrange the tomatoes and pepperoni slices over the top.
- Top with the Parmesan cheese.
- Arrange the basil leaves over the cheese.
- Drizzle the pizzas with the remaining olive oil and then bake for about fifteen (0:15) minutes until the cheese melts and the dough is cooked.
- Garnish with fresh basil and a sprinkle of salt.
- Cut into wedges and serve hot.
A key factor in the success of Italian cuisine is its heavy reliance on traditional products; Italy has the most traditional specialties protected under EU law Cheese, cold cuts and wine are a major part of Italian cuisine, with many regional declinations and Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication labels, and along with coffee (especially espresso) make up a very important part of the Italian gastronomic culture. Desserts have a long tradition of merging local flavors such as citrus fruits, pistachio, and almonds with sweet cheeses like mascarpone and ricotta or exotic tastes as cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon.
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