Pizzettas (or mini pizzas) are the perfect food for casual entertaining. It is by far our favourite meal to prepare for guests, so laid-back, and who doesn’t like pizza? You can use a prepared store-bought crust if you are pressed for time; there are some great ones out there. I recommend putting out all of the ingredients and let our guests create their own pizza.
Pizzettas are simply mini pizzas (they just sound more hipster). I either make a big salad to serve with this, or simply toss a big bowl of arugula with some olive oil and guests pile it on top of their cooked pizza. One plate to clean. I like it already.
We LOVE this pizza because it is so different! You really have to use the best quality ingredients you can find as they really shine through on a dish this simple.
I get asked a lot about which wines to pair with certain foods. We just enjoyed a pizza night with a bottle of the Perseus Syrah – it’s a big, beautiful (and local) fruit-forward wine that pairs well with so many flavours, making it absolutely perfect for pizza!
Pizza Crust: (makes 8-10 small pizzettas)
- 750 g white flour (use Tipo ’00 flour if you can or a strong bread flour)
- 200 g semolina flour
- 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. (or 1 x 8 oz packages) yeast
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Place your flour(s) and sea salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Create a well in the center.
- In a large measuring cup, mix together your lukewarm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for approximately 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to ferment.
- Pour the water/sugar/yeast mixture into the well along with the olive oil and stir together with a fork or large spoon until it is well mixed. Once it becomes too difficult to mix together with your fork or spoon, sprinkle extra flour on the dough and your hands and mix with your hands until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Place the dough on a well-floured flat surface and knead, pushing the dough using the palms of your hands, for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough looks smooth and stretchy. You may need to add extra flour as you go, being careful not to add too much to keep the dough from being too stiff.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil, dust the top of the dough with flour, and cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm draft-free area for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down. At this point you can either refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap and occasionally punched down) or divide the dough into 4-6 portions (depending on how big you want your pizzas). I highly recommend making your dough in advance and letting it sit in the fridge as the longer ‘proof’ really makes a difference. Ensure that your pizza dough comes to room temperature before cooking (bring it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you are ready to cook).
- Once ready to cook, heat your oven to the highest heat setting (500F for most ovens) and place your pizza stone in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
- Roll out your pizza crust 15-20 minutes before cooking your pizza on a flat surface dusted with semolina flour until it is nice and thin. You will likely have to stretch it a bit with your hands (the fun part!).
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven, lay your rolled dough on the stone, add your toppings and bake until the pizza is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cut and serve!
Funghi (Mushroom & Thyme) Toppings
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or enough to thinly cover your crust)
- ¾ c. mixed mushrooms (I used cremini, button and Portobello), thinly sliced
- ½ c. fresh mozzarella cheese (torn or sliced)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated parmesan
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Drizzle the olive oil evenly on the prepared pizza crust, leaving a 1/2” margin along the edge.
- Layer with the mushrooms and finish with the cheeses. Remove the leaves from one sprig of thyme and spread it evenly over the pizza; garnish the pizza with the other two sprigs.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with the additional thyme and serve.