Thursday evenings begin our weekend here in Dubai and about 3 weeks ago I tried these two recipes from this book I had bought Tom for Christmas. I got him pans too and a pizza peel. We had been so frustrated trying to find a decent pizza here, it's not easy to be sure. There is one restaurant called Il Forno in Mirdiff Mall that is not bad but they do not use proper pepperoni. They do however have this wonderful very thin and crispy potato strings they add to certain pizzas we rather like that. But if you're from Springfield, Ilinois, USA and we are, you should know Gabatoni's Pizza. We never miss a trip to Gabbie's on our trips home. We've gone there since high school days over 45 years ago. Of course we always go to Joe Roger's too...oh Marianne if you stumble on this silly little blog, we do miss you! Now if I could even come close to her chili my work here would be done...
We did notice last night that Dubai Mall has a new pizzaria, we must try that place, we noticed it has a proper brick oven with a live fire...oh wish we had one of those to be sure!
If you want the best pizza on earth please visit Pompeii, Italy...there is a medium sized restaurant just to the right of the entrance to the ruins...sort of back a tiny bit on the right, totally family run place, sadly I do not know the name of it. But the brick oven was first and foremost in the restaurant....and the place was so simple and the pizza was simply magnificent! I took pictures of that pizza but they're not on my computer...those authentic brick ovens the pizza gets little tiny burnt crispy bits on top...oh it's just marvelous. Worth the trip. We ate pizza all along the Amalfi Coast...wow what a trip!
Start with this book and pans like these. The book can be purchased at all major bookstores and is online at Amazon. I use the Sciilian pizza dough recipe it has lemon juice in it. The recipe will easily make four 10 inch thin crusts.. I lightly grease the pan with olive oil and a paper towel before putting the crust on it. Another wonderful thing is you can so easily divide this dough into rounds, refrigerate them in zip loc bags, use within a few days. I bet you could freeze it even though I have not tried that. When I did refrigerate it, I let it come to room temp, then rolled it out. I roll it up onto my rolling pin to put it on the pizza pan. Once the pizza is thoroughly cooked it slides off onto a cutting surface very easily. I think it is the lemon juice that makes this dough so perfect...it truly is perfect. At this point this is the best pizza we've had in Dubai, they don't know pizza here.
Bake naked pizza 3 to 5 minutes.
I make my sauce exactly like the recipe in the book for pizzaiola sauce except that I am rather fond of shallots so I add two finely chopped shallots to my sauce and I just used Green Giant brand whole peeled roma tomatoes and squeezed them into the pan, I do not strain etc as the recipe suggests as I rather like a small chunk of tomato here and there.
This pizza is mushrooms, sliced shallots and wonderful tangy green olives, they have nothing inside them. I use fresh mozzarella that you can buy in a loaf here in Dubai, they will happily slice it for you, so I get about 1/3 of a loaf sliced.
I have also made a white pizza, I brush the crust with olive oil, add finely chopped garlic toes, my fresh garden basil and cover with mozzarella...ummmm good. I can't resist these wonderful olives so I add them too.
This is half of Tom's pizza or nothing but pepperoni...in the states it would also have sausage but he's not fond of any of the sausages here in Dubai. I also sprinkle the pizzas with parmegiano reggiano before adding my mozzarella, it's a bit cheaper here than at home in the states, but now I'm spoiled by it and will always use it. I didn't post the actual recipes due to copyright issues...wouldn't want anyone mad at me. A friend or relative can email me and I will send it though. The book is nice and you will enjoy all the recipes. I'm making focaccia next. This recipe is so near to Gabatoni's that we feel we have that wonderful "taste of home" that we miss so much.