I wish I knew the Italian language. I need it. I need it badly.
I have just tried a new-age gluten-free vegan eco-friendly pizza that probably wears a kaftan and Birkenstocks on its multicultural sabbatical. I need the Italian language to provide me with a suitable curse on the shop that made it. In the end I would settle for a mild bout of bad language and a health department order closing their doors.
Pizza? There is no part of this flat sheet of nasty taste that suggests pizza, or Pisa for that matter. It is round, and packed in a square cardboard box, I give you, but so is a teller mine. I would rather cook the mine.
I will also be realistic – there are pizzas that are not round – square sheets of perfectly adequate pizza have been made for years – if there are no round pans you may have to use a cookie sheet – and if there are a lot of eaters you can make more pizza per oven rack on rectangular trays.
But take note. Pizza contains a number of essential ingredients. Leave them out or substitute house dust and hummus and you end up with no-pizza. You need:
Pizza dough with gluten. Italian gluten. Gluten that loves football and red cars and girls. Loud gluten.
Tomato sauce base – with oregano and basil and garlic and salt and pepper. Maybe thin slices of tomato as well.
Pepperoni sausage sliced thin. LOTS of it. Ask about the sausage maker – if his name is Mario or Luigi or Paolo and his last name ends in “one” you’ll be fine.
Green pepper pieces.
Cheese – Mozzarella and parmesan are a good start.
Anchovies. Just a few, and if the eater doesn’t like them they can be chewed around.
Stop. Add a portion of Stop Immediately right here before the temptation to add sweet potato or Indian frog spleen paste or raw cauliflower becomes irresistible. Put the pizza in the oven and let it bake. Take it out and slice it and serve it hot. With vino or birra, as you wish. Finish with espresso. And gelati.
Do not try to make an essentially Italian thing anything else – just enjoy it for what it is. If you wish to serve unicorn cupcakes do it some other time.