One of the things I miss most about living in Italy is the long-table dinners we would have with our neighbours in the small village where we lived. While we patiently waited for the pizzas to be cooked in the scorching wood-fired oven, the women would fry off some pizza dough and serve it with the most incredible fresh cheeses and homemade cured meats. It was so irresistible you would always be full by the time the pizzas were ready!
- 300g flour
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for coating dough and hands
- 250ml warm water
- canola oil, for frying
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and three-quarters of the water, and mix together. Add enough extra water to make a moist, stiff dough.
On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough to form a ball. Lightly oil the ball of dough and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour to rest and double in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface. Gently knead into a smooth ball. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape until it is about 2–3cm thick.
Cut the dough into slices, approximately 4cm wide and 6–8cm long. Place these on lightly floured trays and leave them for about 3–4 hours, covered with a tea towel, to double in size.
Pour canola oil into a frying pan or medium-sized saucepan until it’s one-third full, and set over a high heat. Check that the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of dough into it – when it turns golden straight away, it’s ready. Once hot enough, add a few pieces of dough at a time. Fry until golden and turn over. Cook until both sides are golden, about 4–5 minutes. Drain on paper towel and repeat until all the dough is cooked.
Serve with cold meats (pancetta, salami), cheese and antipasti!
Recipe taken from My Italian Kitchen by Laura Cassai
For Laura Cassai, great food is a way of life. Showcasing her roots in traditional Tuscan and Sicilian cooking, My Italian Kitchen celebrates Laura’s love of simple dishes with sophisticated flavours. Alongside Italian classics, you’ll also find Laura’s MasterChef knockouts, including lobster and scallops with herb butter, mushroom panzanella, fennel and orange, and rolled gnocchi with porcini mushrooms, caramelised onions and crispy sage. Welcome to Laura’s kitchen.
You can purchase My Italian Kitchen at cooked.com.
Published by Hardie Grant Books.