Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pizza Puttanesca (Vegan Option)

Don't ask me what inspired me to make a pizza with anchovies!  Okay, since you asked: I had a tube of anchovy paste in the fridge and couldn't figure out what to do with it.  Why I decided on pizza, however, I don't know since the only time I ever had anchovies on pizza I found it as distasteful as the ex-boyfriend who suggested it.

But boy I'm glad I did.  This was AMAZING! If you don't like anchovies, don't worry, this pizza really doesn't taste fishy.  The proof is in the pudding.  Adam doesn't like fishy fish and he LOVED this pizza.  In fact, until he reads this, he has no idea that there were anchovies on it.  Believe me, the man gobbled this down at lightening speed and declared it amazing.

For plant eaters, I did a bit of research and discovered that you can sub umeboshi plum paste for anchovy paste to get that umame/salty quality.  Both are quite high in sodium, as are olives, so make sure you don't add any additional salt.

This makes enough for 2 large sized pizzas (when I make pizza, I make A LOT of pizza!), but you can use as much as you like and freeze the rest, or toss it with whole grain pasta.

Pizza Puttanesca

1 can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Crushed red chili flakes, to taste (optional)

300g box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3-4 tbls anchovy or umeboshi plum paste
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Crushed red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

300g low-fat mozzerella or vegan cheese alternative, grated

2-1 lb whole grain pizza doughs, rolled out to desired thinness

Stir together tomato paste with seasonings in a small sauce pan set over medium heat.  Turn to low and let simmer 4-5 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Saute spinach, olives, paste, garlic, vinegar, Italian seasoning and chili flakes over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 

Spread sauce over dough.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over sauce.  Spread topping mixture over the cheese and sprinkle pizzas with fresh herbs.  Bake on pizza stones, or in oven as desired (ours took about 22 minutes at 500F on regular baking sheets).  Leftovers (if there are any!) can be frozen.

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