When you think of quick meals, you probably think of a sandwich or a ready meal. Or maybe you just grab something from the freezer and shove it in the microwave.
And, of course, there’s a time and a place for a microwave TV dinner. But if you want something a little more special but don’t have the time for extensive preparation, try our phenomenal puff pastry pizza.
So, grab some shop-bought puff pastry and a can of tomatoes. And you’re laughing.
What is a puff pastry pizza?
Well, as the name suggests, a puff pastry pizza is a pizza with a puff pasty base. There’s a tongue-twister for you!
No one really has the time to make their own puff pastry. So, for this recipe, I recommend a good-quality frozen or chilled supermarket puff. In fact, go for pre-rolled, and there’s even less work to do.
So, this recipe is easiest when you use a ready-rolled puff pastry sheet. Just take it out of the fridge fifteen minutes before using it to prevent it from cracking.
There are a couple of stages:
- The sauce (I’m going to give you a super-quick alternative and one that takes slightly longer)
- The topping
- The base
Any great pizza is only as good as its base and its sauce. We’ve got the base covered with our shop-bought puff pastry, but let’s go for something extra special for the sauce.
The quick sauce
Hey, there’s no shame here!
Our quick version is to simply use a shop-bought jar of passata or bechamel, depending on your preference.
However, as I mentioned, a pizza is only as good as its sauce, so it’s usually worth spending a little extra on a decent branded sauce if you can. Still, any supermarket ragu, passata, or bechamel will do.
Even ready-made ratatouille will do the job beautifully.
The (longer) sauce
If you have some extra time, this is my foolproof tomato sauce. You can use this base for pasta, gnocchi, or a traditional dough pizza.
For best results, go for the low and slow approach. If you’re in a rush, turn the heat up and cover the pan while you brown the onions.
This is how you make it:
My foolproof tomato sauce
- 2 onions
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- A sprinkle of sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- Olive oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
Add enough good-quality olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pan — it might seem like a lot, but go with it!
Bring the oil to a medium heat, then add the two diced onions to the pan, stirring to coat them thoroughly. Add plenty of freshly cracked black pepper (but no salt at this stage — it will stop the onions from browning). The idea is to brown the onions so they become sweet and sticky — it will take about 20 minutes — but if you have less time, stick a lid on your pan and crank up the heat slightly, which will speed up the caramelization process.
Stir the onions every couple of minutes, making sure they don’t stick to the pan, and continue this process until they’ve turned golden and sticky. Once they’re ready, add the crushed garlic to the pan and stir it in well.
Now, add the tinned tomatoes, which you’ll need to bring up to a bubble, then simmer for another 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add a splash of sherry or red wine for richness and a generous knob of butter if you’re not a vegan, and a pinch or two of sugar. This all helps create a delightful, unctuous sauce.
Keep simmering, and stir every couple of minutes. When it looks thick and silky, add a very generous glug of olive oil — about half a cup. Stir it in well until the oil and the sauce have homogenized — it will be thick, shiny, and delicious. Add salt and pepper to taste.
And at this stage, you can freeze the finished sauce, add it to any pasta dish, or use it for your puff pastry pizza.
The pastry base
Preheat the oven according to the pastry instructions (usually 400ºF/205ºC). When it has reached temperature, roll out your pastry (or use pre-rolled for speed), laying it out on a baking sheet.
Cut a shallow ridge, 1in from the outside edge of the pastry, like a picture frame. Then, add your tomato sauce, spreading it generously within the inner area. Add extra toppings like jalapenos, olives, ham, mozzarella — basically, whatever you have in the fridge and fancy on your pizza.
Brush the outer pastry frame with an egg wash or milk to encourage it to turn golden and crispy.
Then, bake the pizza in your oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure the pastry has cooked all the way through — you do not want a soggy bottom. If it doubt, bung it back in the oven for another five minutes.
And voila! An easy midweek puff pastry pizza that everyone will love. And, remember, if you’re really in a hurry, use a shop-bought ragu or passata — it will still be super delicious.
Wine for a puff pastry pizza
Tomato sauce is acidic, so I recommend pairing it with a medium-bodied red to match its acidity, such as a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.