Restaurants are funny places. You work 12 hour days, you work every night and every weekend and are made to feel terribly guilty if you ever take a holiday. You make absolutly no money and but you become intoxicated by this world. You work for complete sociopaths and thats a good thing. It gives you bragging rights.
So when I was 19 and had big lofty ideas of being a famous pastry chef I worked at a very fine dining Italian restaurant in Vancouver, that shall not be named. It was the sort of place where you were encouraged to do nothing but show up on time and follow orders. The sort of place where he had 10 different ways to do everything, so he could come up to you at any point and tell you you were doing it wrong. The sort of place where recipes were not given to cooks, and cooks were not encouraged to ask questions. It was without question the worst job I have ever had.
I have nearly no recipes from that time but strangely I have one from something he made only once; pizza. It’s not a complicated recipe, but the dough is wonderful, its soft and pliable and it rolls easily and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. He also put a lot of ingriedents on the pizza after it had cooked, like arugala, or proscuitto, or salami. I had never seen that before.
It makes a wonderful very fresh tasting pizza. It’s not greasy, and it’s not heavy, but its very satisfying all the same.
Pizza Dough, recipe folows
Tomato Sauce, recipe follows,
200g Asiago or Parmesano
4 Large bocconcini balls
a big handful of baby arugula and basil
100g super thinly sliced prosciutto
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of Tomatoes, try to find a brand without added citric acid.
A good glug of olive oil
In a medium sized pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and the onion, cook for a few minutes then add the garlic. Stir until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Add in the tomatoes and cook until it gets thick and saucey, about 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Pizza Dough- Makes 2 Pizzas
51/2 cup Bread Flour
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Dry Yeast
1 1/3 cup Warm Water
Mix the water, sugar and yeast together until the yeast gets foamy on top, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook mix all the ingredients. You can also do this by hand if you have more patience and arm strength then me.
Mix it until it becomes a smooth elastic dough.
Place dough in a bowl, covered, in a warm place until it’s doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
Preheat oven to 500F or the hottest it will go.
Cut the dough in half and roll out to the size of your pans, the bigger the better.
Top with the sauce, and the cheese, breaking apart the boconccini and grating the asiago.
bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is brown and the crust is cooked.
Tear the basil and prosciutto on top and sprinkle the arugula. Eat and be happy!