Friday, 17 May 2013

Pizza the Neapolitan Cuisine

Pizza the Neapolitan Cuisine (Greco- Roman period food) got popular globally by migrating Italians to other countries as a means of sharing their cultures to the natives. It is a highly accessible dish and can be tailored to adjust the local tastebuds allowing unlimited variations. It is rich, but complete food often cooked with simple ingredients. 

In Pakistan don’t think any Italians migrated and introduced Pizza.But In early 90s the influx of returning Pakistani families from Gulf Countries after the war brought the demand for pizza since they have been consuming it from the many international pizza chains. Since then, every other day we have new pizza chains coming up, bakeries have their own versions, restaurants have it on their menu, and people love to bake them at home filling it with the endless topping of their choice. 

 So, in my persuit of cooking healthy tasteful and varied meals, I started experimenting with different styles of Vegetable pizza.
The rule of thumb when I am cooking is more vegetable, specially the green leafy ones, wholewheat/whole grain carbohydrate, low or reduced fat dairy, minimum possible additives and food colors and packaged products. Keeping these in mind I have put together the ingredients for vegetable pizza often stacking with a medley of crunchy vegetable on wholewheat thin crust topped with preferably reduced fat mozarella.  I generally use less cheese topping, you might want to use more.

Unlike Newyork where wholewheat pizza dough is common on super market shelves, we don’t get it so easily in Karachi.  Thankful to Necos whole food store for making wholewheat pizza dough for me.  It can be easily made at home well. Nonetheless, the ready to roll dough from Necos made my life easy.

Following the guidelines from Dr. Maya Adams, from Stanford University, she is teaching Cooking and Child Nutrition course that I am currently enrolled in, I made the pizza sauce instead of using one off the super market shelf. We will be safe from chemical preservatives and artificial colors with homemade pizza sauce, it is easy and can be adjusted as per our taste and available ingredients.

Pizza Sauce


½ KG- ripe red tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 tbsp chopped or paste garlic
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp brown sugar
1 tsp mixed Italian herb (Basil, Oregano, Thyme)
¼ tsp red chillies or ½ tsp red chillie flakes
Can also use chopped green chillies
1 tbs olive oil


-Chop tomatoes and onions.
- In a pan sauté onions in olive oil until and then add garlic and sauté until transparent
-add tomatoes, salt, sugar, chillies and let cook until mushy
- now puree it with a hand beater/motorized smoothie maker/or blend in a blender and put back in the pan. You can leave it chunky if you want, taste equally good.
- stir in the corn flour and herbs until completely blended
- simmer for 2 more minutes and let cool before spreading on the crust.

Pizza Toppings:

There are no set ingredient for this, however, my suggestion is to experiment with more leafy green vegetable since they are nutrient dense. Vegetable in any combination and quantity can be used, following are my favourite and I often top my vegetable pizza from this list sometime all of it:

-       Spinach, just removed their stems and leave the whole leaves
-       Mustard (Methi saag)
( wash and rub a bit of lemon juice, black pepper/lemon pepper and olive oil on leafy greens
-       Sliced mushrooms
-       Capsicum
-       Sundried tomatoes
-       Onions
-       Olives
-       Pickled jalapeno

Putting it all together:

Roll the wholewheat pizza dough on a pizza pan, and spread the sauce, top with green leafy vegetable and then on top of it rest of the vegetable. Finally top with shredded mozzarella cheese, try to use the reduced fat cheese if you can find it. The pizza is generally done in 15 minutes on high in the medium shelf of the oven. I also often bake the pizza on outdoor grill, taste awesome.


  1. The recipe is piece of cake! oh i mean pizza :) looks delicious... mouthwatering.. :) yummmmmy