Onion and Anchovy

Something a little more traditional

Home-made Pizza

My friend Eric can't eat onions or anything from that family of plants. This is not a pizza for him.

It is a more traditional pizza with versions of this turning up in French and Italian cooking.

I'm not allergic to onions like my friend Eric, but my stomach does have some resistence to large quantities of uncooked or undercooked onions - particularly the brown ones. But I have learned over the years that cooking them slowly so they caramelise and turn golden takes away some of whatever it is that caused me grief the next day. So that's how I started my Onion and Anchovy Pizza.

I used three large brown onions for this. If I was to slice them and put them on the pizza base raw, that would be too much. Cooking them down softens the onion and allows you to put more on the pizza base. I will admit to adding a teaspoon of sugar and a bit of salt to assist in the caramelisation. Cooking onions down like this can take 25-30 minutes.

Slow cooking the onion

There are still some guidelines for quantity of topping that you need to consider. If you have too much topping your dough will not cook properly or rise.

The onions took care of the sweet flavour I needed, but wasn't going to be enough to carry the whole thing. I something more. I have been using a pepper paste for my bases lately. It is like tomato paste in texture but is made from capsicums. It is Turkish in origin and I found it at a market somewhere. I don't know if I will find it again, but I'll keep looking. I like it because it has a slightly richer flavour than tomato paste and has a deeper red colour.

I have a few sage plants in my garden and used a few leaves from them. I used half a dozen leaves cut into smaller pieced. I didn't want to chop them finely because they would lose their impact against the powerful flavours of the onion and anchovy and I ut them on the base under everything else so they would not burn in the cooking. I also used a little parmesan cheese on the base this time to intensify the flavour.

Onion and Anchovy Pizza

So that's pepper paste, sage leaves, parmesan and normal cheese. Then the cooked onions and anchovy. I have seen French recipes where the anchovy is used to create a grid pattern on the onions with an olive in each grid. I used one anchovy fillet per wedge. I love anchovies and have to work hard to not overdo them. They are salty and they will overpower the sweetness of the onion if you use too many. I like the idea of using olives. I didn't use any because I didn't have any. As it turns out, the extra saltiness may have been too much anyway.

The result? Wonderful. This idea is a keeper.

Onion and Anchovy pizza

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