Tag Archive | pizza

Traditional Greek Pizza (41p)

Kimolos mapPizza Ladeniaίτσα λαδένια, pronounced something like “PEET-sa la-THEN-ee-a”) has been produced on the island of Kimolos in the western Aegean Sea since medieval times. It is claimed to be the origin of the modern pizza, later developed, of course, by the Italians and which is now consumed the world over.

Whether Italian cooks really got the idea from Greece or were just developing traditions found throughout the Mediterranean is open to debate, but the Greeks are very proud of their own, more ancient version.

The main difference between traditional Greek and modern Italian-style pizzas is that the former is rich in olive-oil and baked slowly in a high-sided tray or pan, while the latter is a less oily creation rapidly roasted on a dry hot plate or oven shelf and which first appeared in Naples about the year 1800. The origin of the name, ‘pizza‘ is lost in time, but probably originally simply meant ‘bread’ or ‘bite of food’, while ‘ladenia‘ is derived from the Greek words for oil (‘lathi‘) and olive (‘elia‘).

Acknowledgments to Giota Nikolau at faghta-giagias.blogspot.com for this. In the photo below there are three tomatoes and two onions, but when I came to chop them up I found I needed one less of each.

2018-03-19A Pizza ingredients


  • 2 vine tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • Cup of warm water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A dozen chopped olives
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper


In a bowl add half the warm water, yeast, sugar, two tablespoons of flour and mix it all together. Cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes. Doesn’t need to be anywhere especially warm – mine rose very happily in a coldish kitchen. Stir in thoroughly the remaining flour and water to make a firm dough and knead this for 10 minutes.

2018-03-19C Kneading

If it came out right it shouldn’t be sticking to your hands of fingers while you’re doing this. If it is too sticky, add pinches of flour until it is right. After kneading, put it back in the bowl, cover and leave for a further ½ hour to rise again.

2018-03-19D Bases

Flatten and stretch out the dough moderately thinly into one large or two small pizza base shapes. Press the sliced tomato, onion and olives on top and drizzle olive oil over them – traditionally this was quite an oily creation! Sprinkle on some dried oregano with some salt and ground pepper. I’m normally anti-salt, but this definitely benefits from it.

2018-03-19E Drizzled

Bake in a lipped dish or tray, lined with a generous smear of olive oil, for 20-30 minutes at 180C (all depends on how efficient your oven is, might need a little longer). Important to used a lipped dish or tray because otherwise the olive oil will run off and burn on the bottom of the oven. The pizza is cooked when it is browning all over and not flexible when lifted.

2018-03-19F Cooked.jpg

Cost: This made two pizzas, each quite filling, and could happily have been shared between four people. The price per meal was therefore (assuming 4 people each with a mug of tea, and including electricity and washing up costs) … 41p.

I found I’d made mine a bit too thick – would have been better flattened to under 1cm height when making the pizza bases. Also might add a sprinkle of bacon bits or shreds of ham next time, but important to remember that originally this was everyday, filling food, not a fancy treat like modern pizza.

Lentil Bolognese (61p)

2017-02-12 me reading book.jpg

Continuing my exploration of A Girl Called Jack budget recipe book. Today, lentil Bolognese. This is actually a sauce which can be used as part of a pizza topping, pitta filling, or – my choice today – pasta topping.

2017-02-12-artusiDid a little reading on Bolognese sauce first. What is it?

Learned that it is a kind of ragù, an Italian sauce with meat as a main ingredient and served with pasta. The first published example was in 1891 by Italian businessman and author Pellegrino Artusi, and included minced beef, various vegetables, herbs, spices and pancetta bacon – an Italian speciality of seasoned, cured, unsmoked belly pork.

Artusi was able to take an early retirement from his business dealings thanks to a generous inheritance, and his 1891 book is seen as a national treasure as it had recipes from all over the then only recently united country of Italy. His Ragù alla Bolognese was one of these, inspired by dishes he seen when visiting the city of Bologna.

Lacking meat, technically the following recipe is not a ragù at all …

  • 1 onion.
  • 1 carrot.
  • 1 clove of garlic.
  • tablespoon of oil.
  • flat teaspoon each of thyme and parsley.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube.
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes.
  • 100g lentils.
  • tomato sauce.
  • 50g grated cheese.
  • 100g pasta.


Fine chop the onion. Crush and chop up the garlic clove. Grate the carrot.

Rinse the lentils. Bit of a debate on the internet, to rinse or not to rinse, but it seems a good idea to get any husk remnants or factory dust off.


Fry the onion, carrot and garlic together until the onion is soft. Add the herbs, stock cube, chopped tomatoes (including the juice), lentils and a generous squeeze of ketchup and simmer for 25 minutes. Put the pasta on the boil while you’re doing this.


Serve mixed in with the pasta and the grated cheese on top.


It was a filling meal. Not hugely tasty, but good enough, filling and nutritious. I omitted the red wine of Jack’s recipe (allergic to the sulphite in wine and an unnecessary cost anyway). It was enough for three meals. With electricity, washing-up costs and a cup of tea, 61p a meal.


NOTE: Unlike to previous recipe, which, although initially very tasty, lost flavour in a few hours, this dish had gained flavour after standing. I had a bowl of it the next day for lunch. 13 Feb.