A pizza potato and cheese pie – you don’t need to ask us twice! This recipe is the ultimate comfort food now the nights are getting colder, plus it’s a lovely way to use up potatoes that are being harvested.
Sicilian pizza dough
7 g/ ¼ oz. fresh yeast, 1 teaspoon dried active baking yeast, or ½ teaspoon fast-action yeast
a pinch of sugar
150 ml/2⁄3 cup hand-hot water
250 g/2 cups fine semolina flour or durum wheat flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200 g/7 oz. potatoes, finely diced
2 onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
250 g/9 oz. fresh Italian sausages, skinned
2 teaspoons tomato puree/paste
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
3 large eggs, beaten
125 g/4 ½ oz. ricotta
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a large lipless baking sheet
In a medium bowl, cream the yeast with the sugar and whisk in the water. Leave for 10 minutes until frothy. For other yeasts, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, oil and lemon juice. Mix with a round-bladed knife, then your hands until the dough comes together. Add more water if necessary – the dough should be very soft. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briskly for at least 10 minutes until smooth, shiny and elastic. Try not to add any extra flour at this stage – it should be quite soft. If you feel that the dough is sticky, flour your hands and not the dough. When ready, shape into a neat ball, place in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with a damp kitchen cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – about 1 ½ hours.
Punch the air out of the dough, then transfer to a floured surface. Divide into two pieces (one piece slightly larger than the other) and shape both into a smooth ball. Place the balls well apart on a sheet of floured non-stick baking parchment, cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave to rise for 60–90 minutes.
Place the baking sheet on the lower shelf of the oven and preheat it to 220ºC (425ºF) Gas 7 for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet and add the potato and onion. Cook for 5–10 minutes until the onions start to colour, and the potato is soft (add a spoonful of water if the vegetables look as if they are drying out). Stir in the oregano, season and transfer to a bowl to cool. Fry the sausage very briefly, breaking it up with the back of a fork, and add the tomato pur.e/paste, fennel seeds and sage. Season well, then let cool. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs into the ricotta.
Punch the air out of the dough again. Roll out the smaller ball (the base) to a 25-cm/10-in. circle and the larger piece (the lid) to a 30-cm/12-in. disc, rolling the dough directly onto baking parchment. Spoon the potato and onion mixture onto the base and dot with the sausage. Spoon over the ricotta and egg mix and season well. Brush the edge with water and lay the lid on top, rolling the edges to seal. Brush with a little olive oil and make two or three holes in the top of the pie.
Working quickly, open the oven door and slide parchment and all onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then pull the parchment out from beneath the pie. Bake for a further 25–30 minutes until the crust is puffed up and golden.
Remove from the oven and brush with a little olive oil. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
If you liked this recipe, check out Cooking with Cheese.