This deep pan focaccia pizza with cavolo nero and olives is one of those indulgent weekend treats that is just gloriously naughty but tastes like heaven. You know that every bite is pure joy. It’s all very simple really, just your favourite toppings over a seriously good spicy tomato sauce all nestling on a fluffy pillow of plump focaccia bread.
I actually love eating this cold with a fried egg on top for breakfast. I mean, who doesn’t love cold pizza? So the fried egg is just a bonus!
For the dough
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 300ml lukewarm water
- 500g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting – I’ve been using the lovely Wessex Mill bread flour
- olive oil
For the tomato sauce
- 1 knob of butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 banana shallots, finely chopped (or one medium onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- one teaspoon dried oregano (in addition to the above)
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 100ml white wine
- 800g (2 tins) chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 litre vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
For the topping
- 4 or 5 cavolo nero leaves
- mixed olives
- 150g fresh mozzarella, torn
- 50g strong cheddar, grated
- fresh oregano (or dried if you don’t have)
For the ‘pan’ i’m using a 25cm x 33cm metal tray with deep sides. It’s the tray that came with the oven… but you can use any metal or cast iron pans, 2 x 23cm cake tins or a cast iron shallow casserole dish would work just as well
The tomato sauce and the pizza focaccia dough take roughly the same time to make so start with the dough by placing all the dough ingredients into a large bowl and bring together with a spatula or your hand, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes. This can be done with ease (and a lot less bother) in your stand mixer with a dough hook, for the same 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly in clingfilm and set aside for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
The Tomato Sauce
To make the tomato sauce, gently heat a large pan and melt some butter and olive oil, then saute the onions and garlic gently for 5 mins, then add the fresh oregano (or the first amount of dried) the sugar and salt and let it all sweat for a further 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients (except the dried oregano) and half the stock and stir well. Place it on the lowest heat and let it gently plop and bubble away for at least an hour. After half an hour stir in the dried oregano. Then let is carry on cooking for as look as possible. 2 or 3 more hours on a very low heat is good.
Grease your pizza pan liberally with olive oil and turn the oven on to 200C
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove the cling film and knock it back by punching it with your fist, then place it into the oiled pan and smoosh it around with your fingers till it fills the space, cover with a tea-towel and set aside for 30 mins. It will rise again but as it’s flat it won’t seem as prominent
The tomato sauce should be ready so take it off the heat. Wilt your cavalo nero for about 3 mins – this can be done is a warm pan with a dash of water or easily in the microwave.
Build the pizza
Remove the clingfilm from the pizza pan and press your fingers into the dough much like you would with a focaccia. Then add the sauce, spreading it around but leaving a generous edge for the crust, add the mozzarella (I like to use torn chunks of fresh) and half the grated cheddar and then add the wilted cabbage, then add the rest of the cheddar and olives. Sprinkle over some more fresh oregano and season well and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and puffy and the cheese is wonderfully melted.
For more pizza ideas check out these recipes on Dom in the Kitchen
Eat and of course, enjoy!