Semi-dried tomato, basil pesto and ricotta pizzetta
1.Make pizzetta dough. Put dried yeast in a bowl and pour in warm water, stir once, then leave for 10 minutes or so until dissolved. Mix in oil.
2.Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the dissolved yeast mixture. Mix together with a large fork, then knead with your fingers (it’s messy!).
3.Turn the dough onto a floured work surface (preferably wooden; avoid kneading on cold surfaces because this will cool the dough and inhibit the action of the yeast) and knead for 8-10 minutes, using as little flour as possible to prevent sticking, until the dough is springy and no longer sticky.
4.Put the ball of dough in a warmed, lightly oiled china bowl then turn it over so both sides of the dough are covered in oil. Cover bowl with plastic food wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk.
5.Punch the dough once or twice with a floured fist to deflate it, then scrape it onto a surface sprinkled generously with semolina. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap (if there is not enough semolina it will stick) and let it rest for 2-3 hours, or until ready to use. For longer storage, or if the temperature is very warm, refrigerate the dough, but bring it to room temperature before shaping
6.Next make pesto. Blend or process basil, nuts, garlic, parmesan and oil until pesto forms a smooth paste.
7.Preheat barbecue or grill plate to medium heat.
8.Divide dough into four portions; roll each portion to form 15cm-round pizzetta base. Cover barbecue grill plate with double thickness of oiled foil. Place pizzetta bases on foil; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes.
9.Using metal tongs, turn bases; spread cooked sides with pesto. Divide chilli, ricotta and tomato among bases. Cook, covered, over low heat about 5 minutes or until bases are cooked through; sprinkle with extra basil.
It’s easy to make pesto from different herbs or green leaves and with other nuts. A great combination is baby rocket and pistachio (it goes beautifully with chicken). A few other enticing blends include fresh coriander leaves with chilli instead of nuts, or sun-dried tomatoes processed with olives and walnuts.