A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to be sent the 3 special birthday edition Moro cookbooks. I wrote about them here and promised to cook as much as possible from the books I didn’t already own (Moro East and Casa Moro) and then report back. A tough gig, you’ll no doubt agree. I have cooked many gorgeous dishes from these two books over the past months, and even dedicated an entire supper club menu to the books' recipes. The menu was:
Starter: Turkish pizzas – tomato and lamb, and spinach, pine nuts and anchovies
Main: Pumpkin and chickpea salad
Lentils and rice
Leeks in yoghurt sauce
Rolled, slow cooked porchetta with pomegranate sauce
Dessert: Lemon polenta cake with Greek yoghurt ice cream, pistachios, honey rosewater syrup and raspberries
One of my lovely guests, Mariana, took all the beautiful photos in this post and sent them to me. In return all she asked was for the lamb and tomato Turkish pizza recipe. So this recipe is for her.
Turkish pizza with tomato and lamb
The Casa Moro and Moro East books have many lovely Turkish pizza recipes, and I’ve tried several. I’ve always loved making their flatbreads from the original Moro book, so this was a natural progression!
For 4 pizzas, you need 1 quantity basic flatbread dough
450g unbleached strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon dried yeast
300ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a measuring cup dissolve the yeast with the water. Once dissolved, add the oil then mix the water into the flour (by hand or spatula). Once mixed, you need to knead the dough – do this on a floured surface for 5 minutes (I have to admit that when I’m making big quantities for supper club I let Kermit the KitchenAid do the kneading). The dough should be soft, elastic and smooth. You will probably need to add some extra flour as it could be quite sticky. Set the dough aside, covered with a cloth, to rest for an hour.
20 minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 230 degrees C / 450 F / Gas 8. Divide the dough into four and roll out each piece on a floured surface (I actually prefer to use olive oil instead of flour, but either will be fine), into a rough oval, about 3-4mm thick. Transfer the dough to lightly floured/oiled baking trays and you’re ready to top with your topping!
Lamb and tomato sauce pizza topping
My lamb and tomato recipe is a hybrid of three Moro recipes - one from Casa Moro for flatbread with lamb, pinenuts and pomegranates, another from Casa Moro for Turkish pizza with tomato, lamb and allspice, and another for lamb kibbeh in Moro The Cookbook.
You can make the tomato sauce and lamb at least a day ahead – they will only taste better. Don’t skimp on the tomatoes!
Tomato sauce (from Casa Moro)
800g ripe tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves, minced or sliced (more if you want)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Remove the stalks from the tomatoes. Make a small criss-cross in the bottom of each tomato with a knife. Cover the tomatoes with boiling water for about 30-60 seconds. Remove from the water then cover with cold water. When cool, it should be quite easy to peel the skins off. Then quarter them and remove the seeds.
Pour olive oil into a medium-large frying pan and fry the garlic over medium heat until golden brown. Add the tomatoes, a pinch each of salt and pepper and the sugar (unless you’ve got lovely sweet tomatoes). Simmer for about 15 minutes – Moro says until the tomatoes are cooked but not totally broken up and excess liquid has evaporated – I prefer to cook mine a little longer and mash the tomatoes a bit (given Sam and Sam of Moro have a successful restaurant, mezze bar and 3 cookbooks, who are you going to believe?). Check for seasoning.
Keep in a container in the fridge if you’re making it days before.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
500g minced lamb
3-4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½-1 teaspoon ground allspice
Chopped parsley, and thinly sliced red onion to serve
Cook the onion with a pinch of salt in the oil over medium heat, until the onion is golden. Add the lamb, allspice and cinnamon and cook, making sure to break up the mince so there’s no lumps. You can see from the photo above that the lamb almost caramelises (just remember that that photo was taken once the lamb had then been in the oven for 15minutes, so whilst you don't want the lamb to be too wet to go on the dough, it will dry out further in the oven). Once cooked, season well.
Be sure to add the cinnamon and allspice to taste. I tend to go heavy on the cinnamon because I love it, but hold back a bit if you’re less of a fan.
With your oven pre-heated as above, and your flatbread dough rolled out, spread the tomato sauce over each pizza, barely leaving a border. Next, top with the lamb. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the bread is cooked.
Once out of the oven, slice and scatter with parsley and red onion. Delicious straight from the oven, or at room temp.
With special thanks to Mariana for her photos - happy cooking!