‘Gross’ Pizza,  Mandarin, Anchovy and Olive

‘Gross’ Pizza, Mandarin, Anchovy and Olive

To the absolute dismay of Manchild 2, I was in the kitchen earlier eating little bits of mandarin orange and anchovies. Trying to decide if I was going to chuck them together on a pizza. He declared me ‘gross’, and I partially agree.

For I am one of the worlds biggest anti- pineapple on pizza people. I will happily chuck mango in a chicken salad or into curry, but pineapple pizza remains something that I ‘uuugh’ at. However, after today, I may change my mind. Perhaps I just need to make it myself rather than ordering it elsewhere.

I have been trying to experiment more with flavour profiles, which led me to a plate of black olives, anchovies and mandarin oranges. I tasted bits of them with each other, and in different orders. The result was always the same. I wanted it, and I wanted it hot. Lockdown does funny things to a woman.

The end result was an absolute delight. A thin, crispy round the edges base, smeared with sundried tomato paste and garlic. Sweet mandarins and salty anchovies, broken up and scattered, so every slice would have both. The slight bitterness of the black olives, lightly sprinkled with some herbs and chilli flakes.

The aroma had me hanging around the oven like a smoker behind the school bike sheds. Lingering, impatient.

Sweet, almost sticky, little explosions of warm orange filled my mouth, and its salty companions came along for the ride. I really, really did enjoy this tonight.

Manchild 2 advises me it is Friday, as he ploughs through his college work, online, with worries in his head about getting behind during lockdown. What will happen to his education? and how and when will he ever get back into a classroom? Real worries, not silly ones like ‘why is my Mum so gross’.

For a while at least, his homemade wedges with margarita pizza and my ‘gross’ pizza, brought us around the table, for our daily dose of normal, in a world that is anything but.

Base ( makes 4 thin base individual)

We followed the instructions on the flour packet, this dough is for a large pizza but we love ours thin so we get 4 individual ones out of this)

200g sieved pizza flour, my favourite pizza flour is Cotwold Pizza Flour

4g salt,

5g dried Yeast- I use Fermipan red

125ml warm water/Corporation Pop

The best bread flour and yeast combo available to buy now is Bread Flour and Yeast

Pizza base sauce

2 tsp per pizza base of sun dried tomato and garlic paste.

Toppings (for one base)

1/4 can of drained mandarin pieces

5 black olives, halved

3 anchovies, broken into small pieces

Light sprinkled of grated cheese, I used cheddar.

Pinch of dried mixed herbs and chilli flakes.









10 minute Creamed Mushroom Tagliatelle with Wild Garlic Pesto

10 minute Creamed Mushroom Tagliatelle with Wild Garlic Pesto

Today’s evening meal for one ( too tired now for the dinner/tea debate)  needed to be simple, it needed to be quick and it needed to be filling. Because today, was an ‘I can’t be bothered’ day. Sometimes, when a myriad of thoughts are crashing around in your head, the last thing you need is complication.

The star of this is mushroom powder, which is something my kitchen is never without. I buy mine here,   Dried Mixed Mushrooms then blend some into powder to use in many dishes.

My blog ‘Dried Up Not Past It’ will tell you more about this wondrous ingredient, how nutritious it is and how the drying process intensifies the flavour so much that you need use very little.

You need ( Single Portion)

1tbsp dried mushroom powder ( i use forest mix) added to 200ml boiling water

2 small bundles or 1 large of dried tagliatelle  (approx 70g)

1/2 tsp Wild Garlic Pesto ( you can use garlic puree or half a clove of garlic)

1/4 tub of Cream Cheese- approx 60g

A small hand full of frozen peas ( I used petit pois)

Pasta water


Lazy-i-tus Method

Mix the mushroom powder with 200ml boiling water in cup or bowl. Leave to re-hydrate.

Add the pasta to a pan of salted boiling water and cook as per packet instructions.

Add the mushroom mixture to another pan, along with the garlic and cream cheese.

Stir constantly over a low heat adding more pasta water to stop it drying out if it becomes too thick. Remember when you add the pasta it will suck up the sauce, so it is ok for it to be slightly runnier than you would prefer.

When the pasta is cooked, add the peas to the pasta, just long enough to defrost, and then drain pasta and peas. Add this to the sauce, combine, and serve. I added a little Parmesan on top as an afterthought.

I love this because it is earthy and humble, yet it feels indulgent because of the creamy sauce. The sweetness of the peas just picks it up enough, but a minute dash of lemon juice would have been a nice addition too. The 80p price tag was a bonus. Make it cheaper using dried spaghetti instead of tagliatelle.

The absentmindedness of twirling pasta on a fork, lost in thought, was parried with knowledge that i had looked after myself just enough today. The day marking 7 complete weeks of UK lockdown.