Monday, November 22, 2010


Have I ever told you about all the things I've learned in Gabon? Well, there's French, of course, and working with kids, and all those enriching experiences that make you a better person, too. But what I've really learned during my stay in Libreville is... how to make a delicious pizza. And so the time has come to share my knowledge with you. Here goes: pizza a la africana.

First make the dough. You will need 0,5 kg of flour, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and sugar, some basil or oregano (whichever you prefer), two tablespoons of dry yeast and some warm water. You mix the yeast, four tablespoons of warm water and some salt and sugar. You leave it in a warm place for fifteen minutes. Then you mix all the ingredients until the dough is smooth and soft and you let it rest in warm place for it to double its size.

Now you can prepare your tomato sauce. I use fresh tomatoes (3 medium ones should suffice), which I peel, dice and stew for a few minutes. Once they become soft, I take them out of the pan and I smash them with a fork. Tomatoes back in the pan, I add some fresh garlic, herbs (oregano, fresh basil and whatever you like), white pepper, salt and a bit of sugar. I leave it to simmer until the sauce gets thick. Then I spread it on the dough.

Now it's time to prepare your topping. I like it simple, so I usually use green pepper, ham, mushrooms, olives and mozzarella. Because of the prices in Gabon, I must settle for canned mushrooms, but I'm really looking forward to using the fresh ones in Europe. Also, as you can see in the picture, we are now forced to use black olives, because of the green olive shortage in Libreville, but both types will work, depending on your preferences.

And here we are, almost done. Put some olive oil on your baking dish, spread the dough, the sauce and your ingredients (I cut the mozzarella into thin slices but you could also grate it). You will notice that I only put olives on Jandro's side of the pizza! It's probably not very sophisticated of me, but I do hate olives and there's nothing I can do about it. As a final touch, sprinkle your pizza with some oregano. Remember to pre-heat your oven!

Clearly, to make a real Italian pizza, you must a) have a special oven, b) have all the vital ingredients and c) be Italian. Sadly, none of these points apply in my case. However, my pizza turns out delicious every time, as most of my friends will confirm. Also, it was sampled by a real Italian (and being a real Italian means you are inevitably awfully picky about food) and she was kind enough not to throw it away. Big success, I'm sure! Enjoy!

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