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Foodsick



Ah, oui. Foodsick.

 

It’s a thing, like homesick. It happens.

 

The first time I ever heard of foodsick was in Italy. My local friends told me that there are many Italians who love to travel internationally and, after a few days, they begin to seriously miss and crave their own food.

 

Since I’ve been spent considerable time with my French family here, I’ve learned that the same can be true of French people.

 

In my own US circle of Angelenos, almost everyone I know claims to miss Mexican food when they travel for extended periods. So, there’s that.

 

My own experience is that I really, really, must have pasta regularly. Once I had been in Spain for nearly two weeks and had only had one dish of pasta. When I arrived Barcelona, my friends told me of their favorite pasta bar. They had barely finished their sentence before I rushed out the door and found the place in a heartbeat.

 

Now then, my point ... is that last night I had a vivid dream about pizza. I rarely eat pizza because it’s like crack for me. I can eat an entire pizza by myself – not something that I am particularly proud of – so, I do not make a habit of this. And I don’t usually crave it, nor go out for it. I make really good pizza at home, and can – well, usually – control how much I eat.

 

Since whatever hour that dream was last night, I have not really stopped thinking about pizza. In fact – and again, not all that unusual for me – I had a shopping list crafted in my head just after the dream, since I did not have pizza ingredients on hand.

 

It isn’t that Bayeux probably doesn’t have excellent pizza, pour emporter (take-out) or even dine-in. I have noticed several wonderful Italian restaurants in town and, again, I’m resisting that option right now for said propensity to overeat.

 

The punch line is, I made a beeline to the grocery store today, and as I write, my pizza dough is rising, my tomatoes have roasted, and my sausage (originally intended for pasta) is prepped. So is the fine, fresh mozzarella that I was ecstatic to find in the dairy case. I really do love my own pizza and, it’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on my blog.

 

This entire story brings to mind Renata’s Papi Pierre (grandfather). He and his wife (Renata’s Mamie Marinette) are on their way to Sicily this April, for one week. I told him, oh no, you need to stay longer than one week!

 

His response – oh no, one week of pizza is long enough!

 

I probably did well not to tell him, even en francais - Alors, ils ont aussi des pates. (They also have pasta.)

 

Come to think of it, he may like to know about Sicilian breakfast, which is a cup of seasonal granita topped generously with whipped cream, served with brioche. I’ll make sure I tell him about that.

 

Meanwhile, I hope you like this ~ please be sure to read my little note at the end of the recipe. Buon appetito as the prone-to-foodsick-locals say in Italy!

 

Crave-Worthy Handmade Pizza

 

Prepare pizza dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup warm water

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + more to coat bowl and skillet

 

Place flour and salt in large bowl, make a little well in the center. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add oil and mix well.  Pour liquid into flour well and combine by hand until mixture yields a soft ball of dough; add more flour or water in tiny portions if needed.

Take ball out of bowl, and coat bowl with olive oil.

Place dough ball back in bowl. Cover bowl with a tea towel and let rise in draft-free space for at least one hour.

 

Once dough has risen, begin to prepare pizza:

Preheat oven to 400F. (200C)

Prepare 9-10” cast-iron skillet or heavy baking dish with a light coat of oil and light sprinkle of polenta/corn meal – this is optional but makes it easier to slide pizza from pan for serving.

Press pizza dough into prepared pan/skillet – for choice of thin or thick crust:

If you prefer thin-crust pizza, ½ the dough will be enough; press it thinly into the pan. Place remaining dough in zipper bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days for future use.

If you prefer thick-crust pizza, press the entire dough ball into the pan.


Prepare pizza for baking:

Up to 4 ripe, very red Roma tomatoes or other preferred tomatoes, sliced thinly

Sliced cooked Italian or other preferred sausage (optional)

Sliced or grated provolone or mozzarella cheese, as much or as little as you prefer

¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese

Top pizza dough with tomatoes, sausage slices, cheeses.

Place in preheated oven, bake for about 20 minutes for thin crust; up to 25 mins for thick crust, until cheese is bubbly and crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool for up to 10 minutes before gently sliding from pan to serve .


Yields 1-3 servings ;)


Note: While the pizza in the foto is admittedly not my best art, this was the best pan available for baking the pizza and my little countertop oven is a bit tricky; I was grateful for both! The pizza turned out delicate and delicious. I topped it with a yummy salad and, only ate ½ of it (brava me!) so I look forward to leftovers.

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