Utterly gorgeous, this is one of my favourite pizzas: it’s that combination of mellow roasted squash, salty feta, vibrant pesto, savoury sage and thyme and the extra dimension from the slightly chewy red onion.
Over the years, I’ve come to realise I’m not really bothered about a meat on a pizza; it’s the vegetables I love - although I quite like a bit of chorizo.
First, bake your butternut
Baking squashes deepens the flavour rather than boiling which can sometimes spoil the flavour and make it taste a bit bland.
Preheat oven to180C (fan oven) or equivalent
Halve the butternut length-wise and scoop out the seeds and the fibrous membrane.
Lay the halves cut-side down in a greased baking dish.
Make small slits in skin and bake for an hour or until tender but not totally soft.
Cool and peel away the skin before slicing and then cubing.
Making the Pizza
Makes 2 medium pizzas
- Pizza Base
- 300g strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon quick yeast
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 210ml water
You will need 2 pizza trays or similar lined with greaseproof paper
Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a roomy bowl. Use the fingertips of one hand to incorporate the water and oil.
Knead the dough with both hands until smooth and silky for about ten minutes or so.
Leave the dough to prove until virtually doubled in size.
Turn it onto a lightly floured board and knead again briefly. Divide it into two.
Roll each piece into a ball and then sse a rolling pin to roll the balls into thin discs.
Transfer to the trays.
Leave to rise again for 30 minutes or so before adding toppings.
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons water
- Pinch of sugar
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 8-10 teaspoons pesto
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced and separated into crescents
- ½ large butternut, baked and cubed as above
- 100g feta, cubed
- 2 handfuls of grated mozzarella
- 6-8 sage leaves and leaves stripped from 3-4 small sprigs thyme (lemon thyme works especially well)
Blend the tomato puree with water, sugar and black pepper to taste
Spread the puree over the pizza bases and space out teaspoons of pesto. Scatter with the onion crescents, the butternut, feta and mozzarella.
Finish with more black pepper, sage and thyme leaves.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bases are risen and golden and the topping melted and browning slightly.