Food Friday, iPaddy Pizza

A couple of years ago my cousins wife said to me, “our kids will never know a life that doesn’t involve TV you can pause”. She actually sounded quite sad as she said it and although I never gave it much thought at the time she is right.

BBC FinishAs children our TV was limited to an hour or so of programmes per day spread over five channels, There was no live pause or TV on demand. Computers (for those who were lucky enough to have them) were huge cumbersome affairs with black and green screens. There were no tablets, no smart phones and if there had been they would have been useless as there was no internet. Can you imagine a life with no internet? A life without at your fingertips news, weather, shopping and social media?

It has become a source of concern for me how much time my son devotes to watching other people playing games (any parent who reads this who is familiar with Minecraft and Stampy will know EXACTLY what I mean) on YouTube. In fact, only last week he turned down a trip with friend in favour of an hour on the iPad. I didn’t allow it and mayhem ensued or as it is called in our house “the iPaddy”. That evening I started to have a long, hard think about our collective use of devices and how much we could do if we downed them for a while. I made a pact with myself not to casually peruse Facebook or Twitter during family time and rather than setting my son up with the iPad or the TV and a snack whilst I cooked dinner I involved him in the planning and cooking of a family meal.

We decided upon carbonara and even though there was a puddle of cream on the kitchen side where it missed its destination, shell in with the egg yolk and a near miss with a finger and the cheese grater the end result was a delicious meal and a very, very happy child declaring “that was so much fun, can we do it again and make pizza?”.

Pizza MakingThere is something quite wonderful about seeing your children connect with the food they eat, I think it helps them understand their food, where it comes from, how it is made and, that it doesn’t just show up on their plates three times a day!

Basic Pizza Dough (makes 4 thin, medium sized pizzas)

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • A teaspoon of salt
  • One 7g sachet of Easy Yeast
  • Half a tablespoon of sugar
  • Half a pint of luke warm water

In a jug mix the yeast and sugar with the water. Leave to stand for a few moments.

In a large bowl put the salt and flour. Make a well in the middle and add the warm water a little at a time to form a dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about 10 minutes until silky and elastic.

Shape the dough in to a ball, dust the top with flour and cover in cling film. Leave for at least 15 minutes before dividing the dough in to four and rolling in to thin pizza bases.

Scatter over toppings of your choice and bake in a hot oven (preferably on a pizza stone or piece of granite) for 10 minutes.


Adapted from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.



Roast Tomato & Pepper Sauce with Tarragon (v)

Simple, quick and super fresh. Ideal as a quick pizza topping or for stirring through steaming hot pasta.

  • Ten or twelve medium sized tomatoes, washed and left whole
  • A red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • A handful of tarragon, chopped finely
  • A whole clove of garlic, left in its papery skin
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • A gloss of good quality oil such as olive or avocado

Heat the oven to 180ÂșC.

In a large tray arrange the tomatoes, pepper and garlic bulb. Scatter over the salt and tarragon and gloss over the oil.

Roast in the over for 45 minutes until the tomatoes have taken on some colour and the garlic is soft. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, separate the cloves and squeeze out the garlic into a blender. Discard the papery skins. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Decant in to a sterilised jar. Keep refrigerated.