Slow roasted tomato and oregano pizza

Homemade pizza is a regular on the menu in our house. The children like to get involved in making it, especially kneading the dough and putting on the toppings. As you can imagine, it can turn into quite a messy affair!

This recipe for slow roast tomato and oregano pizza is a firm family favourite and the perfect way to put to good use all those gorgeous tomatoes and herbs coming into plentiful supply this time of year.

We have lots of beautiful oregano in the herb garden at the moment

You do need to plan ahead a little with this one. The tomatoes are slow roasted in a low oven for four to five hours, giving them an incredibly intense, sweetly caramelised flavour and a gorgeously sticky, slightly chewy texture.

Trust me, it’s worth the effort. They taste sublime and are fantastic on pizza, as well as in salads, quiches or served with olives and cold meats as part of an antipasto.

Slow roasted tomato and oregano pizza

Makes four pizzas

For the slow roasted tomatoes:

8 cherry tomatoes
6 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

For the dough:

400g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
250ml luke warm water
1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:

Passata, about half a jar
Mozzarella, 2 x 250g balls
Two handfuls fresh oregano, leaves picked

Firstly, prepare the tomatoes – I suggest the night before.

Preheat the oven to 140°C /Gas Mark 1 or use the bottom oven of an Aga.

Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle on the oregano and sugar, and season to taste. Place in the oven and roast for four to five hours, until the tomatoes are shrivelled but still sweet and juicy.

To make the pizza dough, put the flour, salt, dried yeast and oregano into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Make a well in the middle and pour in the lukewarm water and oil. Gradually work the flour into the liquid, making a soft dough. If it’s too dry, add a drop more water. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.

Flour your surface before tipping the dough onto it. Knead the dough by stretching it away from you, then pulling back into a ball. Do this for five minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover loosely with cling film and put in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 or use the middle of the top oven of an Aga.

Uncover the risen dough and punch it back down. Flour the surface again and divide the dough into four balls. Stretch or roll out each ball until you have a thin circle about 22cm across. Place the pizzas onto slightly oiled baking sheets.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of passata onto each pizza, smoothing out with the back of the spoon. Next add the roast tomatoes and oregano leaves and finish with torn pieces of mozzarella.

Bake your pizzas for 15-20 minutes and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before devouring.

I’m entering this tasty pizza into the June Herbs on Saturday blog challenge over at Lavender & Lovage. Karen always receives heaps of delicious looking recipes for her blog challenges, so make sure you go and take a look at the other entries!

I’m also adding it to the One Ingredient blogging challenge, as the ingredient in question is the tomato. The challenge is run by Laura at howtocookgoodfood and Nazima at Londonworking mummy.