BREAD and topping, it’s as simple as that, so pizza shouldn’t cost a fortune and should have a simple list of ingredients.
Only if it is destined to be stored for a long time are preservatives used, and quite a few pizzas we tasted for this week’s survey had more than we like to see in food.
I bought raw pizza dough from Iago in Cork’s English Market for €1.65 which was enough for a huge pizza which I topped with tomato passata, mozzarella from Toonsbridge (at the Olive Stall in the English Market), and a little chopped onion and made a pizza no more expensive than some of the samples tested, but far more filling and tasty.
Make it yourself with yeast and freeze half for convenient use at another time.
We can also use a scone mixture to make a fast pizza without yeast. bbcgoodfood.com has an easy recipe.
The best sampled here make a handy meal, but most don’t keep us satisfied for long unless we add a decent amount of cheese. Serve with a green leafy salad to make it a healthier option.
Aldi Carlos stonebaked grilled vegetable pizza, €1.49
No preservatives or improvers in the base, which has good texture and is thin and crisp. Chunky peppers and courgettes topped with 11% mozzarella cheese had a genuine texture. Good value. Awarded highest marks by tasters.
Padraigín’s Gourmet pizza 400g €4.80
Made in Cork, this pizza dough has a short list of simple ingredients — flour, water, and yeast for a thin crisp base. Lots of small bits of ham, pepperoni, salami, and mushrooms are mixed with red and green peppers which refresh the overall flavour. Cheese is a mix of Carbery mozzarella and red and white Cheddars (not very Italian) which, with fresh tomatoes as well as tomato purée, gives it a juicy, generous texture. Tasters liked it.
Goodfella’s pizza deep pan loaded cheese, 417g €3.39
Light, crisp base, nice stringy mozzarella, tasty topping with a fresh tomato taste. There is added starch, maltodextrin, and Cheddar which is not typically Italian, but tasters were happy enough with it.
Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Mozzarella 335g €3.65
Quite a generous amount of cheese here, with a barely adequate amount of tomato, on a base which crisped up nicely. However, it has quite a few ingredients such as hydrolysed vegetable protein, palm fat, maltodextrin, dextrose, and modified starch which I would prefer not see in what is a simple meal.
Supervalu Five cheese pizza, 310g €2
Crisp, additive-free pizza base was quite tasty. The combination of 6.1% mozzarella, 3.7% Edam, 3.7% Gouda, and 7.4% Cheddar gave a full flavour, though not an authentic Italian one. Tomato sauce was adequate. We didn’t detect the 2.4% basil pesto, but the overall effect was a pleasant pizza at a good price which tasters liked.
M&S butternut squash pizza, 225g €4.49
A small pizza, enough barely for two, this is suitable for vegetarians.
The butternut squash is flavoursome and plump and gives a nice moistness to the pizza which compensates for the low amount of tomato. The spinach is discernible and the balsamic caramelised red onions provide depth of flavour. A crisp base makes this a good all-rounder, tasty and good texture, albeit lacking in tomato and cheesiness. Pricey.
Perfetto Grande Pizza, 540g €5.75
Made in Italy for Derrynaflan in Midleton, this large pizza has a welcome, crisp base, not much tomato and very little cheese. Nice pepperoni, not too harshly spiced. Not over-salted. Mozzarella cheese is not very stringy or full-flavoured.
Tesco Thin and Crispy four cheese stonebaked pizza, 310g €1.89
The base is simple enough with flour, yeast, water with added vegetable oil. Nicely topped with mozzarella and emmenthal, there is some tomato sauce thickened with maize starch and cheese powder. The Cheddar makes it too creamy and gives a less Italian style of flavour.
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