Our Bon Voyage Pizza and Paella Party!

Bon Voyage, Pizza and Paella PartyBefore we set off for our travels, our friends in London planned a little Bon Voyage party for us on the night before we left. Their wonderful temporary lodger Paul made a big, authentic pan of Paella {his mama’s recipe} and I whipped up some pizzas, both of which were cooked using wood fire, out in the great outdoors in the lovely Dalston Eastern Curve Community Garden. They have a wood fired pizza oven which made the pizza process super fun. Paul cooked his paella over a rudimentary fire, the whole corner of the garden was filled with smoke and the mouth-watering smell of the food.

Bon Voyage, Pizza and Paella PartyI made the dough in the afternoon and left it to prove in the airing cupboard while we finished packing and running a few errands. Once the party had started, I set up a table for the pizza making process. I rolled out a base, left it to rest for a few minutes then popped it into the pizza oven to cook the bottom of it, rolling out the next while that was happening. Once the base had crisped and risen, it was flipped over, topped then returned to the oven to cook the topping. I had a selection of toppings and mix and matched in a creative way for each pizza. All the pizza’s were vegetarian, as the paella clearly wasn’t.

The toppings got a bit more adventurous as the beer was flowing but they were all completely delicious! Tim had made a delicious batch of tomato sauce and I used it on all the pizzas, along with pre-grated mozzarella. Of the pizzas I made that night, our favourite additional topping combinations were:

  • mushroom, blue cheese and cooked spinach {heaven!}
  • roasted peppers {from a jar} and chopped artichoke {also from a jar}
  • shredded buffalo mozzarella and dollops of pesto
  • mushroom and crumbled goat’s cheese

Bon Voyage, Pizza and Paella PartyThe dough was based on a recipe by Jamie Oliver, I just multiplied it really to make a heap of it. More than we needed really! You can find the recipe here. Although the pizzas were made in a pizza oven, they would be just as wonderful if you made them in a regular oven, they’ll cook pretty quickly at a hot temperature {220 C}.

I hope I’ve inspired you to have a pizza party, so much fun and so delicious. Even better if you can find a pizza oven! It was a brilliant, communal way of cooking and eating. I will cherish this party now we’re on our travels.

I’m writing this in a lovely hostel in Vilnius, Lithuania. There is even a fabulous kitchen, complete with oven! Alas, we leave tomorrow for Russia and I won’t have time to use it. We only arrived this afternoon and there is sightseeing to be done….

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By Rachel Davis

7 Responses

  1. Dave Rowley says:

    Great seeing the community kitchen in Dalston again! Tim showed me when I visited him in Summer 2012. It’s a big part of the neighborhood there…

  2. Meghan says:

    That all looks amazingly delicious!

  3. margaret hodgson says:

    Sounds to have been a wonderful yummy evening Rachel, Josie said how enjoyable it was and how much she’d enjoyed catching up with you and Chris. xx

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