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It’s fun making pizza dough and then laying out little bowls of toppings so that the children can use these to design faces on their pizzas.
If making as a sauce for pasta, cut down the cooking time so that the sauce is less thick. You can also roll out the pizza dough in to the base and freeze it. You can use the base straight from the freezer, put the tomato topping on top cover with grated cheese and toppings and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. If you wish, you can puree the veg and tomatoes before cooking the sauce. First it is easier to blend with more liquid and second it is easier to tell when the sauce is thick enough. The sauce can also be frozen separately.
This hidden vegetable sauce is a good way to get children to eat more vegetables as what they can’t see, they can’t pick out.
- Suitable for Freezing
- Makes 12 mini or 6 larger pizzas
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 8-10 mins
You can reduce the cook time for the sauce and use it with pasta instead.
For the pizza base
- 225g / 8 oz / 1 cup strong plain flour
- 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
- Half tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 150 ml / 5 fl oz / three quarters cup water
Hidden Vegetable Sauce
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 small leek, thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- ¼ courgette (zucchini) , grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp sundried tomato puree
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 x 400g / 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Small bunch of basil leaves, chopped
- 175g / 6 oz mozzarella cheese grated
- 175g / 6 oz / 2cups mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Extra toppings for decoration
- Sweet pepper
1. Make the Dough
Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and pour in the oil and water.
Stir with a wooden spoon and then use your hands to mix everything together.
Sprinkle a little extra flour over a clean work surface, then knead the dough for about 7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Alternatively you can knead in an electric mixer using a dough hook for 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Let the dough rest
Oil a large bowl, pop in the dough and cover with clingfilm.
Leave in a warm place for about one and a half hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Make hidden vegetable sauce
To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Transfer to a blender, add the tomato paste, ketchup, tomatoes and sugar and whiz until smooth.
4. Stir the sauce
Return to the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly.
5. Bake the Dough in Oven
Preheat the oven to 220C/425 F / Gas Mark 6. Once you think the dough has risen you can test to see if it is ready.
Poke holes in the dough and if the holes remain, it’s ready.
Punch down with your fists and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes.
6. Roll out the dough
Divide the dough into 12 or 6 balls. Roll out using a rolling pin until about the thickness of a coin to 9cm / 3.5in or 18 cm / 7in circles, depending on whether you want to create mini pizzas or not.
Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
For extra crispy bases, preheat a baking sheet until hot and put the pizzas on the hot baking sheets.
Spread the pizza sauce over each of the pizza bases.
8. Pizza Topping
Arrange some sliced tomatoes and basil over the top.
Sprinkle over the cheeses and season with salt and pepper.
Cook in the oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Once the pizza is cooked you can use your favourite toppings to decorate the pizzas with faces.
For more party food ideas, check out the Complete Party Planner by Annabel Karmel