Plus how to make the perfect potato pizza!
I’m so lucky to call this next cook a friend. Mikky is the type of guy who’s proud of the fact he can’t juggle, can rattle off any film quote known to mankind, and will always leave you in stitches. But best of all, he comes from a long line of great cooks! His nonno Franco gave us a perfect passata recipe, while his mother Lucy shared with us her a lemon polenta cake treats. So of course when Mikky asked me round for his family pizza day, I jumped at the invite!
Mikky, like a lot of us Sydneysiders, boasts a multicultural background with an Italian father and Croatian mother. He generally likes cooking ‘dude food’ (think ribs, burgers and nachos), but today he’s paying homage to his Italian ancestry.
His nonno usually mans the oven on pizza days, but today, Mikky’s in charge. Well, mostly. With a horde of hungry and opinionated Italians surrounding you, you’re never really in charge.
We’re cooking over a big outdoor balcony that looks out into nonno’s garden. The smokey wood fire is crackling away merrily, and Mikky’s starting off with the pizza dough recipe. He tells me that with the help of his mum, he’s managed to perfect this recipe, and that his absolute favourite topping has got to be the potato and rosemary kind.
Mikky measures, kneads and lets the dough rise, and then we move onto the toppings. There’s deli meats like hot salami, prosciutto, pork and fennel sausages; and of course classic cheeses like your bocconcini, mozzarella and parmesan.
When it comes to the sauce, Mikky’s got his nonno’s sauce on hand, made fresh from the garden (literally two metres away). And for a lil’ something, something extra, he sprinkles on basil and rosemary.
Mikky starts with the margheritas, sausage and bocconcini, and every other combo. The pizzas are gently laid into the blazing hot oven, and come out perfectly – with a crispy base and oozing mozarella.
But of course the star of the day is the potato pizza, and boy am I glad I came around for this! With a zing of lemon, thinly sliced potatoes, a generous pinch of salt and rosemary, and a handful of bocconcini, eating Mikky’s speciality is like devouring Italy in a mouthful.
He ends the show with an impressive flourish – a nutella and strawberry pizza that’s every sweet tooths dream! And of course, his zia (aunty) brings us a round of coffees. Unsurprisingly, we head home feeling sluggish and content, the two signs of a blissful food coma.
For those of you lamenting your wood-fire-less backyards, Mikky assures me a gas oven works just as well. He even admits to using the gas one more frequently than its wood-fire counterpart. So if you want to get the family together, there’s no better way than gathering them around a homemade pizza. Follow our seasoned pizza master’s recipe, and you’ll be sure to have a smash hit on your hands.
Mikky's Potato Pizza recipe from scratch
Prep Time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 40 mins Serves: 5 pizzas
- light taste olive oil 3 - 4 Tbsp
- sugar 30g
- 3 sachets of dry yeast
- 350ml water room temp
- 1.5 Tbsp salt
- 300ml water
- 800g 00 type flour
- 200g semolina
- extra flour to knead through
- 2 potatoes
- olive oil to toss through
- 2 stalks of rosemary
- rind of 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
Other topping suggestions
- Prepare your yeast mix, by pouring the olive oil, yeast packets, water, salt and sugar into a small container let sit for 4-5 minutes for the yeast to activate
- Pour your flour and semolina onto a large surface making a well in the middle and pour your yeast mix into the middle with an extra 300ml of water.
- Using a fork start combining the flour and liquid and once it starts to come together knead for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Place in a large bowl and let rest for 20 minutes in a dry area with a tea towel over it
- Once the pizza dough has risen, grab some dough and roll into a ball
- Place on board and roll out using a rolling pin until it becomes a thin pizza base
- Top with your toppings of choice
- Cook for 10-15 minutes until the base is crispy ( use oven at 200°C)
Potato Pizza Topping
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice your potato
- Toss olive oil through the potatoes
- Rind of 1 lemon, garlic clove finely chopped and rosemary all mixed with the potato
- On the base of the pizza using your finger spread olive oil
- Place potatoes on top, and sprinkle with salt
- Add bocconcini and cook for 10-15 mins
Da Tavola x