Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ana's Italian appetizer inspiration: pizzete!

Readers of Distant Cousin will remember Ana's first encounter with pizza, only a few days after she came to Earth. It made quite an impression on her--she's loved pizza ever since. Here's an example of how she has adapted and extended the idea of pizza.

Ana was shopping for a small party she and Matt were going to have, and in so doing, came up with an idea for an appetizer which, like many of her cooking ideas, turned out not to be entirely original. One of her Italian guests, a professor, was delighted to recognize them from his childhood: pizzete ("little pizzas"). So while not quite an original dish, it is unusual, and we present it here as an idea ripe for improvisation rather than as a fixed recipe.

In the grocery store, she spied a dozen tiny pastry shells in tiny, disposable baking dishes. Everyone likes pizza, but pizza, with its large, floppy slices, makes an awkward appetizer. Ana took several dozen of the pastry shells home to elaborate upon.

This was her procedure:

First, she put small slices of smoked gouda cheese in the bottom of each pastry shell. Then she tossed fresh cherry tomatoes from her garden in olive oil, salt and pepper and a touch of oregano, and added one on top of each slice of gouda. Finally, she added a small slice of her fresh mozzarella cheese and a garnish of basil on top of each cherry tomato. Then she roasted them under a flame until the tomatoes started to collapse, to bring out their sweetness.

Presto! An entire pizza in one bite! To use one of her favorite English words, they were yummy!

More Italian-related recipe ideas:
Pizza experiments: one two three four five
Meet Ana Darcy!

See other Ana-related recipe ideas in the column at right, under the picture of cranberry-apple pie a la mode!

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