Today, I am over the moon to announce that I won a Bertolli Sauces Scholarship to the Festival. Bertolli put out an email to Featured Publishers asking us to submit recipes for menu items using their sauces as inspiration. Eight menu items were chosen those bloggers attend the Festival as guests of Bertolli sauce.
What could be more exciting than that, you ask? Well from October 23 to November 1st, you can vote for your favourite menu item and the three with the most votes will be demonstrated by their creators at the Foodbuzz Tasting Pavilion on Saturday November 7th.
My winning menu item?
Appetizer: “Pesto deconstructed” mini pizzas on a base of Bertolli Garlic Alfredo with aged Parmesan cheese pasta sauce.
In the Summer of 2005, I spent a glorious two weeks in Tuscany and Umbria with Neil and a few of our friends. We ate (and drank!) very well on this trip and I created my menu item from the memory of a wonderful lunch enjoyed on a small piazza in the hilltop Umbrian town of Todi.
My mini-sized thin crust pizzas use the Bertolli sauce as the base for the other toppings – pine nuts, provolone cheese, fresh basil, shaved pecorino and baby spinach (inspired by another Tuscan meal!):
When we returned to Canada after that trip, we searched high and low for a way of recreating both these stunning pizzas. Really, the secret is in the crust. In any case, we found that pita bread makes a pretty good substitute (not to mention it’s much easier than making your own dough!)
Just before serving, a drizzle of Bertolli extra virgin olive oil and freshly-ground black pepper complete this dish, putting Tuscany on your table in about 30 minutes. A perfect weeknight dish.
(NB: You can make pizza dough from scratch, or use frozen pizza dough if you like. We always have pita pockets in our freezer so this is what I use when I don’t have time to make my own dough – i.e. most of the time!)
Check back in here tomorrow for the link to vote! Cheers!