During the Spring 2012 I taught one of many interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. Each class is based on the preparation of a simple delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture.
Videography by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Click here to watch the videos in full resolution.
Buon divertimento!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza veloce - quick pizza

If you want to make "real pizza" you need a lot of time...because when you use yeast you must wait for the dough to rise. Questa ricetta uses baking powder: it is much faster and still very tasty!!

One of the most basic pizzas is the pizza Margherita, with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Do you know that pizza Margherita was invented after MIT was founded??? You can read about the history of pizza at http://www.recipepizza.com/history_of_pizza.htm

Ingredienti per 3 persone

500 g farina (flour)
2 cucchiani di lievito istantaneo (2 teaspoons of baking powder)
1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato (1 teaspoon of baking soda)
sale
acqua tiepida (tepid, lukewarm water)
2 cucchiai di olio d'oliva (2 spoons of olive oil)
origano (oregano)

Your favorite toppings. Here there are some ideas: you can use

Il ba-si-li-co (basil: add it at the very end, when the pizza is already baked)
La pas-sa-ta di po-mo-do-ro (plain strained tomatoes, we used Pomì)
La moz-za-rel-la (consider about 200-250 g for each rectangular pizza)
Il pro-sciut-to cot-to (lit. cooked prosciutto->ham)
Il pro-sciut-to cru-do (lit. raw prosciutto. Add it at the very end, when the pizza is already baked )
La ci-pol-la (onion)
La me-lan-za-na (eggplant: slice it thin, cover with salt, rinse very well and dry, grill in a pan without oil)
La zuch-chi-na/ Lo zuc-chi-no (slice in your favorite shape and cook briefly in a pan with
olive oil and chopped onions/garlic/spices)
Il fun-go (mushroom)
Il pe-pe-ron-e (pepper: slice in thin stripes and cook briefly in a pan with olive oil and chopped onions/garlic/spices)
Gli spi-na-ci (spinaches! good source of vitamins and magnesium)
U-na fet-ta di sa-la-me (a slice of salami --- you probably want more than one ;))
Il for-mag-gio gor-gon-zo-la (gorgonzola cheese. It is an Italian cheese similar to blue cheese)

Directions for pizza Margherita

1-Pre-heat il forno (the oven) at 400 or 500 F (at 500 the pizza bakes faster, at 400 it rises slower and therefore it tends to be more cakey).
2-Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: farina, lievito, bicarbonato and sale (Quanto? How much?a few pinches of salt are sufficient).
3-Add lukewarm water: you want the dough to be soft, but not sticky. If it is sticky, add a little flour. You can keep the dough in a bowl or knead it quickly on the floured kitchen counter.
4-Take a sheet of parchment paper and flatten the dough, as think or as thick as you like it.
You can use a rolling pin, or your hands, flattening the dough with the tips of your fingers.
5-Spread the tomato puree (no need to cook it in advance, you can use it as is) over the raw crust, sprinkle with mozzarella, origano and one pinch of salt. Finally drizzle with a couple of spoons of olive oil.
You can have fun adding all kind of toppings.
6- Transfer the pizza on an oven rake, and bake until the crust turns golden. It should take 15-20 minutes, but it depends on the thickness.

Buon appetito!

PS In Italy we use Celsius degrees (gradi Celsius, or gradi centigradi): when someone says oggi ci sono 40 gradi is therefore extremely hot. You can do the conversion to see what I mean! °C x 9/5 + 32 = °F

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