If you’ve not come across ‘nduja before I recommend you give it a try. A spreadable spicy sausage from Calabria, ‘nduja can be used spread on warmed bread, in pasta dishes (think spicy pork mixed in with shellfish and pasta) or however else you see fit to make use of it. I sourced mine from the same place I get my tomatoes and olive oil – Lupa Foods. They’ve started stocking their own ‘nduja and I have to say it’s incredible stuff. Hot – no doubt about that but incredible in flavour and texture. For me – this stuff just had to go on pizza.
The paste is thick enough to be spooned into dollops onto the pizza if you fancy points of heat rather than spreading it over the whole pizza. More interesting that way I think and I like the way the hot, pork flavoured oil oozes out of the paste and the surface of the dollops start to brown…
For the pizza dough:
- 500g Type 00 flour
- 325ml luke warm water
- 1 sachet of active yeast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- a pinch of salt.
Put the flour in a bowl with the yeast and pour in the water and the oil, mixing with a wooden spoon. Add a pinch of salt and bring it all together into a dough. Once the dough has formed put it onto a floured surface (I use semolina flour for dusting). Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl covered with cling film. The dough should double in size in about 1 to 2 hours.
Heat your oven as hot as it can go – 250c should do it. If you have a pizza stone give it 20 minutes to heat up after your oven has reached its target temperature. If you don’t have a pizza stone you can use a tray but I’d really recommend buying a pizza stone – especially if you bake bread. A pizza stone is also incredibly useful to help maintain oven temperature. I leave mine in the oven all the time – regardless of what I’m cooking – the pizza stone helps retain heat in the oven when you open the door.
Once doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl, give it a stretch and form into balls – about the size of a tennis ball. Roll each ball out into a round(ish) pizza base – thin as you like. I like mine really thin – I’m not a fan of thick pizza bases at all – far too doughy for me. Take the pizza stone out of the oven and put the pizza base onto it.
Now add your topping – this can be whatever you fancy but I used:
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella torn into chunks
- ‘Nduja paste.
That’s pretty much it. Spoon the sauce over the pizza and then add the cheese and the ‘nduja dotted around the dough. The pizza will need about 5 to 7 minutes – until the base is crispy and the cheese and paste have started to melt and brown.
Once out of the oven, season with salt & pepper and add a splash of olive oil. I finished mine off with some very thinly sliced red onion and rocket leaves. You could add the onion before you cook the pizza but I like the harshness of the raw onion mixed with the hit you get from the ‘nduja.
You’ll know about it when you hit one of those dollops of ‘nduja – a burst of flavour and heat complementing the cheese and tomato sauce perfectly.