1 portion of pizza dough
about 100 - 150 ml thick tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
50 ml tomato paste and 50 ml water
1 - 2 garlic cloves
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
about 150 g fresh champignons or 100 g canned champignons
additional toppings (may be omitted):
1 elongated sweet red pepper or red bell pepper
1 small onion
plain pitted or stuffed olives (black/green)
about 250 g fresh mozzarella cheese
about 50 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
handful of fresh basil and/or oregano leaves
about 70 g blue cheese
paper-thin slices of Parma ham
Flavour the olive oil with garlic: press the garlic cloves through a garlic press into a small bowl and top generously with oil. Cover and let steep in refrigerator for a couple of hours or until the oil has absorbed the flavour of garlic.
Cut the pepper crosswise in very thin slices. If using bell pepper, you may first peel it either by roasting or baking it (see the instructions here), or using a vegetable peeler. Cut the peeled pepper in thin strips.
Cut the onion in paper-thin slices, preferably using a mandoline or other similar slicing device.
Slice the mushrooms and sauté them briefly in butter or oil to soften them. The canned mushrooms may also be sautéed in butter or oil to get rid of the excess moisture and to brown them, which will make them more flavourful.
Cut the mozzarella and olives in thin slices. Rinse and dry the basil and/or oregano leaves. Chop the leaves roughly, if they are large.
If you are using blue cheese, crumble it finely. Cut the Parma ham slices in thinner strips.
Knead the leavened pizza dough, divide it in two parts and roll them out on parchment paper into very thin disks or squares. Leave the pizza bottoms on the parchment paper or transfer to lightly oiled pizza pans. Cover with towel and let rise. The pizza dough recipe used here will yield two round pizza bottoms of a diameter of about 30 centimetres.
If you are using tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, mix the paste with the water. Stir until smooth.
Spread the pizza bottoms with the tomato sauce or the tomato paste-water mixture. Drizzle with the garlic oil.
Spread the mozzarella slices on top of the tomato topping.
Sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top. Arrange the vegetables (and the additional ingredients, if using any) evenly on top of the cheese (see the picture on right). Scatter the herbs on top. Using an oil sprayer bottle, preferably spray a light coating of olive oil on the vegetables and herbs to prevent them from burning and drying out too much during baking.
Bake the pizzas in the bottom part of the oven, either at 225 - 250 °C for about 7 to 10 minutes, or at 275 - 300 °C for about 4 to 8 minutes, or until the bottom is cooked and slightly browned and the cheese is bubbly.
To get the best result, you may have to adjust the rack position and the baking temperature and time according to your oven type.
If you are using a preheated baking/pizza stone, use the temperature given in its manual and transfer the pizzas with the help of a pizza peel on the stone in the oven.
Recipe source: family recipe.