Pizza with spinach and red bell pepper

This is not any tough task, pizza is often an easy option no matter what. Among the plethora of flavors, spinach outshines everything. The delicious contrast offers a rather quality touch. So, for a change I decided to add only vegetables and cheese. My ruse to maintain the balance without hindering the taste or the texture.

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The picture I had in mind till date is the one that I happened to watch on Food Network a few years ago. But, to be honest it wasn’t that appealing at all to the eyes except the celebrity aha moment 🙂 Something then clicked though. I don’t know what. It’s the idea of adding loads of greens, may be.

Anyways, the colors and the charm, ‘two birds in one shot’  allows you to have a carefree and relaxed time! Recipe here.

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Spaghetti with spicy meat sauce

Definitely a meal that serves as a metaphor for my Indian mindset… Flavors from the sauce and its bewitching texture topped with parmesan cheese with extra touch of cayenne pepper for a little kick, were all perfect.

The aroma that spread through as you put in the garlic and chili flakes in the hot olive oil…It’s darn delicious! I’ve added mini bella as well,  as a bonus to the minced meat to give that extra volume. It would be a best bet for vegetarians if you omit the meat part and increase the mini bella portion. Both versions tastes amazingly great since all the ingredients are perfect match with each other when it comes to pasta sauce.

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Spaghetti, 1 Package

1 lb minced beef

1 cup mini bella mushroom

1 can crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 onion, minced

1 tbsp crushed dry pepper flakes

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Heat oil in medium-high heat. Add crushed pepper and garlic. Sauté for few minutes.

Add the minced meat. Saute for few seconds. So that the meat would blend with the garlic and chili.

Add all the spices and rest of whatever left including mushrooms and tomato sauce except the parmesan cheese. Combine well. Cover the pan. Allow to cook through in low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Season the sauce with more salt, as desired. You could puree the mixture using an immersion blender if you want sort of evenly balanced texture. Finish the process by adding parmesan cheese. That’s it, sauce is ready!

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti as per the instructions given on the package. Drain the pasta. Add it to the sauce. Mix well. Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese.

A slice of pizza for everyone!

IMG_5494-02Well, I’ve been baking pizza since quite a long time. But, recently I noticed that even though I click pictures of almost everything I cook and bake, I haven’t had clicked the most recurring item and one of the all time favorites of my kids yet. Each time I wish I had the margin to grab my camera and click few images of pizza I fresh baked at home. But it never happened until now…As it comes out of the oven, the delicious aroma seeping through attracts everyone to create some sort of cute chaos in the kitchen! It’s rather flattering to see their excitement, of course!

I had my share of failures as well. It wasn’t any easy to get a good grip on the intricacies of preparing pizza dough. Progression from hard dough to smooth to touch airy and well textured dough was rather rewarding.

Well, that doesn’t mean I’m a pro or even act like one….am still a curious child. I still peak through the rising dough every now and then. The puffy edges, the bubbling and the crispy random cheese at the sides and the finished look as they appear sort of burnt all over still amazes me…IMG_5494-02Anyways, this time though, folks were pre-occupied and were indulged in their respective activities, and that gave me enough time to do my job! They got the pizza, I got the photos, and my blog got the fodder!IMG_5486-05Well, to begin with, I decided to bake my household favorite – meat lovers pizza. Don’t sweat yet, there aren’t many meats in my pizza. I just wrote the way I say it to my boys. I’ve used only bacon and combination of cheese such as; Mozzarella, Cheddar and Monterey Jack. I’m glad that I can at least skip few of those expensive trips to the pizzerias and mimic the same at my home 🙂

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp dried yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp semolina

Salt to taste

Mix the yeast and sugar in a cup of warm water. The temperature of the water should be neither lukewarm nor very warm. Rather it should stay in between. Leave the mixture aside until it’s frothy and increases the volume. If in case, the rising doesn’t happen, start over the process again using good active yeast.

In a large bowl, combine together the flour and salt. Sprinkle oil over. Add the yeast mixture and start the action. Knead well – extremely well till you get a smooth and nice stretchy dough. Transfer the dough to a large and lightly oiled bowl. Cover it. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The idea is to allow the dough rise and double the size. Once it’s doubled, punch the air out and from this point on, the dough is ready and it’s all yours to roll and rock!