I am addicted to using tomatoes in my cooking.
It is something my partner jokes about continuously but I can’t get enough of them.
So when my friends Tash and Brendan came over for dinner last week I was excited to cook some fresh Italian food for people that would not complain that I use tomatoes too often.
I cooked up an Italian feast for 4 from scratch, cutting out all the oils and fats possible, but it was still incredibly tasty, even if I do say so myself.
First of all I had to prepare the dough. Well ahead of time I sifted 300g strong bread flour into a bowl and added a sachet of fast acting yeast. To this I added 175ml of warm water, a pinch of salt, some fresh basil and a little garlic. I then kneaded this into a workable dough.
Tip: You may need more water depending on the flour you use. Make sure the dough is not too firm or you will end up with a dry base. The dough should be slightly tacky.
Leave the dough to prove for at least 3 hours in a warm, damp environment. I leave mine under a wet tea towl in a large mixing bowl in my conservatory.
During this time you can be preparing the rest of the ingredients if you wish.
I made a sauce with:
- 2 whole fresh vine tomatoes.
- 1 tsp tomato puree.
- 2 tins of high quality chopped tomatoes.
- salt/pepper/garlic/basil/paprika/chili powder.
- 1 chicken stock cube.
- 1 whole red onion.
- Mixed bell peppers.
I roast the whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves (2) and peppers in a roasting tin with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
When they have wilted I add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and then blend down. This is the most delicious and my personal favorite tomato based sauce.
Tip: You can use this same sauce as the ragu for the pizzas! Just ladle 2 large ladles into a separate bowl and refrigerate.
Now you can start to put the pizzas together. In the mean time you can also cook the sausage for the pomodoro pasta. I use a famous diet brands sausages. The have a very high lean meat content but you could use any lean sausages. Roast them off in the oven.
Tip: Skip some more calories but butting the sausages into kitchen roll after they have cooked to drain off some of the fat.
I topped my pizza with:
- Torn chicken breast cooked in paprika.
- Sliced red onion.
- 10g reduced calorie cheddar (this has a stronger flavor than mozzarella so goes further).
Portion the dough into 4 and roll each portion out onto a floured surface. Place each base on a separate pizza tin and use the ladle to smooth the ragu over the surface. You will get 4 ten inch pizzas from this recipe.
With the herby base this is a really fresh tasting combination. They take roughly 20-25 mins to cook on a pizza tin.
Put the cooked pasta (roughly 60g dried pasta per person) and the pasta sauce and sausages in a pan and warm through.
Serve with a nice salad. Don’t each croutons if you are watching your weight and dress your salad with balsamic vinegar as a great alternative to fatty salad dressings.
I made a lettuce, carrot and cabbage salad and served with a salsa of red onion, cherry tomato and fresh torn coriander.
Don’t forget your black pepper to taste!
I have only pictured 2 pizzas below but you should get 4 from the recipe.
The fat and calorie content is going to vary based on the ingredients you use. I have tried to use the lowest fat where possible by picking olives in brine and not oil and by using reduced calorie cheese etc.
Here is a rough guideline.
I had 2 slices of pizza and a large ladle of pasta, some salad (without croutons) dressed in balsamic vinegar and 6 olives. This was 550 kcal and under 10g fat, which is less than half of what you would ingest had you bought pre-made regular pizzas and pastas.
If you want to know the calories it is simply a case of adding up what you put in the recipe and dividing by the number of portions. Even if you are not calorie counting this is still a great meal 😀
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