Appetizers and Snacks, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegetarian

Party Pizzette

Loreto December 27, 2017

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Party Pizzette: these wonderful handheld appetizers are served in Italy for aperitivo (cocktails and appetizers). New Year’s Eve is upon us and if you are hosting a party these cute and absolutely delicious Party Pizzette will be the hit of the night! Happy New Year!

Song of the day: “Babylon” by David Gray.

Party Pizzette

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

Party Pizzette to me brings back so many memories of the numerous gatherings that our family would host. In the late 60’s, early seventies, our lives were filled with socialization, wonderful family, and friends. I can’t remember a weekend where we did not have a house full of people or that we were not invited to someone’s house for a party. I loved it, well maybe not as a baby or toddler, but as I began to understand the whole cultural significance of socialization and gatherings and the fact that incredible food was always present at these gatherings, that fearful child became a social butterfly and that has stuck with me to this day.

 

 

Pizza was always something that would be prepared for parties. I remember my parents having this huge plastic bowl and they would make pizza dough and let it rise. Well, it was incredible the way it ballooned out of the top of that bowl and I would get my hands into stretching that soft pliable dough. I remember its stretchy nature and I would work the dough to the edge of the pan and it would go back a bit, I would stretch it some more and it would retract a bit, but in the end, I won. It finally succumbed to my handwork and developed a nice border to hold all those lovely topping and sauce. My favorite topping was simple tomato sauce aromatized with basil and oregano, salt and olive oil, and thinly sliced homemade sausage and dollops of fresh mozzarella. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a piece and bite into that crispy airy crust and get my teeth into that wonderfully delicious sausage and cheese.

When I first went to Italy after I had met Nicoletta I had discovered this afternoon delight called aperitivo snacks and cocktails. To my pleasant surprise, no matter where we went, even in the shopping malls, coffee bars, road restaurants these little cute pizzas would be served along with many other things such as chips, olives, peanuts and tramezzini and of course some cocktail. I was more interested in the pizzette and just loved that they were easy to hold and more so, so easy to eat, not to mention absolutely delicious. So when we were thinking of recipes to develop for the Italian Centre Shop, Pizzette were at the forefront of many other ideas, and the fact that The Italian Centre Shop carries this incredible fresh pizza dough made in house makes this appetizer even more enticing.

We wanted to share some of the regular toppings for pizzette that you would find in Rome Italy, so we could share some of the experience with you and after all, who doesn’t love pizzette, especially these cute little ones which look so inviting, don’t you think!

Party Pizzette

This dough is so wonderful to work with, it has that softness and airiness that I so remember and my hands are ready to do stretch battle and rolling to get that dough to the thickness we want. As far as the sauce we have found this amazing product brand name Mutti. Their tomatoes are out of this world good, so intense in flavor and texture and their pizza sauce is delicious with hints of oregano and olive oil perfect to create the 5 different versions that we frequently enjoy in Rome! So for the 5 different pizzette we have: Margherita which has pizza sauce and mozzarella, we have another Rossa which is one of my favorites and I will tell you a bit of a story about this type of pizza which just has pizza sauce and oregano, the third and fourth are white pizzette, one with zucchini, and the other with thinly sliced potatoes tossed in olive oil and rosemary, the final one, tomato sauce, artichoke heart slices, olives and mozzarella.

Back to that pizza story I promised you. We were in a small town called San Donato and it was around 2 in the morning. We were with one of my cousins from Boston her name Floriana and she was showing us a great time in the town. She is quite well known and I was amazed at how many people were inviting her to their place, and that she knew almost the whole town.  While Nicoletta, my son Joel, Floriana and myself were walking down this street we smelled this wonderful aroma of fresh bread and Floriana was quick to tell us about this bread bakery which we call panificio and she went right in and got us some pizza rossa and for my son and I a real treat having it folded in half and graced with a few slices of the freshest mortadella you can imagine. We walked and enjoyed that pizza so much, the sauce vibrant sweet and rich and the crust crispy edged and so so delicious. That memory I will remember forever we walked the night away until dawn! Oh, what a night!

Enough Chit-Chat We have guests coming, let’s make Party Pizzette!

Party Pizzette

The first thing that needs to be done is to stretch out and work the dough to a nice thickness. We took it to about a 1/4 inch. We used a cookie cutter to get the 2 1/2 inch diameter rounds. Then we let them proof a bit or what we call the second rising. While the rounds are proofing it is a great time to get all the toppings ready. Grate zucchini nicely and thin and squeeze out excess juice. The potatoes follow next and are cut into thin rounds and they are tossed with some olive oil and dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. The artichoke hearts are the marinated ones and we sliced them into quarters letting the excess marinating liquid drip off. Olives, we bought Castlevetrano green olives, and Nicoletta sliced them into thin rounds. The mozzarella we grated and finally just added some extra olive oil to the pizza sauce, because it is the Italian thing to do, lol. So we are set and those pizzette look like they are ready to top.  I wanted to mention that all the ingredients we got from The Italian Centre Shop. It is truly an Italian Cultural food experience and has such wonderful products, We really enjoy going there and walking the isles to see what we can find casually stopping at the deli counter for some meat and cheese samples, which you can find quite frequently gracing the top of the deli counter. Don’t be shy, Mangia, Mangia! If you don’t live in Edmonton or Calgary you can find these products at your local Italian store if you have one, if not, you are just going to have to buy a plane ticket and come visit The Italian Centre Shop personally. I think well worth the trip plus our city has so many attractions!

Party Pizzette

One thing I wanted to mention is that you want to create a pocket for the topping, and you do this by pressing your thumb into the center of the pizzette and creating an indentation. Don’t these look so lovely. They are going to be even better when they hit a hot oven for a bit and that edge turns a light brown and crisps up a bit but not too much because we also want a bit of that airy inside with those air pockets.

Party Pizzette

I can’t wait to munch on these, ARE THEY READY YET! lol.

Party Pizzette

Wow, Nicoletta and I are so happy with these Party Pizzette. They look so delicious and crispy, and look at that melted cheese, YUM! I love the variety of white and red, the colors of the artichoke and olive and the beautiful color on the edges of the pizzette. These are going to be perfect for our appetizer party and for New Year’s Eve.

I forgot to mention that sometimes Nicoletta and I have appetizer dinners. It’s a fun way to change things up and a great way to have variety without too much quantity and especially good with a nice chilled white wine, or beer, or a robust room temperature red wine.

Party Pizzette

I love the simplicity of the pizzette rossa the crust crispy on the edges and nice and soft in the middle folds and the way that sauce just add a punch of rich sweet tomato flavor. The Margherita is nice, adding that gooey cheese to the mix and its buttery richness just takes the pizzette to another level. The artichoke with its acidic marinade and rich earthy flavor marries well with the green olives and the cheese just soothes the acidity enough to balance the flavors yet tantalized the taste buds. Now, for Nicoletta’s favorites, she loves the white pizzette especially the potato with that pizzazz from the rosemary and it melds nicely into the beautiful flavor of the crust. The zucchini, juicy, tender and sweet also a good companion to the crust and both of these have some nice bright notes from the Fleur de sel, and those glistening streams of olive oil.

New Year’s is at the end of this week and if your planning a party these would be a perfect round to a night of cocktails, wine, great appetizers. Like they want to be Italian, be Italian and make these Party Pizzette!

P.S. This year New Year’s Eve is a bit bitter-sweet, Nicoletta has gone to Rome to work for a bit and I will miss her terribly, but the memories in the pizzette and knowing it is one of her favorites to have, makes me feel closer to her. Some drown their sorrows in ice cream and chocolate, I will drown mine in Party Pizzette. Okay, and maybe some chocolate, as it is one of Nicoletta’s other favorites.

Wonton, Bailey and I dedicate these Party Pizzette and post to you Amore!

We love you!

Nicoletta and I would also like to thank the people at The Italian Centre Shop for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to be creative with their products, and also to share our culture. Grazie Mille!

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Song of the day: “Babylon” by David Gray.

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Party Pizzette

Party Pizzette

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  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 pizzette
  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Party Pizzette:  these wonderful handheld appetizers are served in Italy for aperitivo (cocktails and appetizers). New Year’s Eve is upon us and if you are hosting a party these cute and absolutely delicious Party Pizzette will be the hit of the night! Happy New Year!


Ingredients

  • 2 fresh pizza doughs (store-bought)
  •  1 cup shredded mozzarella
  •  1 zucchini
  •  1 can Mutti tomato sauce for pizza
  •  Handful of baby potatoes
  •  2  artichoke hearts chopped into 1/8 slices
  •  1/4 cup pitted green Castelvetrano olives
  •  1 tsp dried oregano
  •  1 tsp dried rosemary
  •  salt & pepper
  •  1/4 cup e.v.o. oil
  •  Handful washed fresh basil
  •  1 tsp fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. Flour a work surface and begin to stretch and roll dough. Stretch it into a round until you get about a less than 1/4 inch thickness. Dough will be an oval shape and about 12 inches at its largest part.
  2. Take a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter and cut out rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Do not place in a warm oven.
  3. While pizzette are rising, wash and grate zucchini, and squeeze excess water out. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Peel and wash baby potatoes. Slice potatoes into thin rounds. Place in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper and some crushed dried rosemary. Toss well and set aside.
  5. In a bowl pour in Mutti pizza sauce, drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil, stir and set aside.
  6. Take baking sheets of pizzette and divide into as close as you can to 5 equal groups, then press thumb into the middle of the pizzette creating a little indentation.
  7. For one group take potato rounds and place a few on the pizzette, drizzle with a touch of olive oil on top, a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel and rosemary.
  8. Second group, place some grated zucchini on the pizzette, the grated mozzarella, a sprinkle of fleur de sel, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Third group, spoon some of the pizza sauce into the middle of the pizzette, spread it a bit with a teaspoon, leaving the border without sauce,  top with some shredded mozzarella and a basil leaf. Finish with some olive oil on top.
  10. Fourth group, spoon some of the pizza sauce into the middle of the pizzette. Place some shredded mozzarella and top with artichoke and green olives.
  11. Fifth group, spoon some of the pizza sauce in the middle of the pizzette, spread it a bit with a teaspoon, leaving the border without sauce, sprinkle with dried oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 425° F.
  13. Place Pizzette onto middle rack bake for 5-10 minutes or until you see edges start to turn golden brown. Check on them, as your oven may bake differently. You don’t want them too brown at the bottom.
  14. If you want more sizzle, finish baking on broil for a couple minutes, continually checking to make sure they don’t burn.
  15. Take out of oven and place on a serving platter.
  16. Ready to serve. Enjoy!

Party Pizzette

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

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14 Comments

  • Reply Denise from Urb'n'Spice December 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I love the name pizzette, Loreto – it almost sounds like a French word, although I am sure pronounced with a different flair in each of the languages. They look like wonderful appetizers and so versatile for any guest, too. Thank you for your great stories. We too, also love to have appetizer meals and often host pot-luck appetizer events that are very very popular. Have a wonderful 2018.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Denise you are so welcome, it is such a pleasure to share the stories and recipes that are so dear to our hearts. Yes appetizer meals are the best and your pot luck appetizer dinner sounds like a good one for a foodblogger gathering! Hint Hint, lol.
      Nicoletta and I wish you a most wonderous 2018!
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Reply Karen December 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Perfect to have with a glass of wine or perhaps with a glass of prosecco to celebrate the new year. Hope the two of you had a wonderful Christmas.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Hi karen oh that Prosecco sopunds lovely. I remember having some in Venice it was exsquisite, but a good red would do fine too after the cheers! I make my own wine, my father was a wine maker in Italy. They had a viunyard and produced alot of wine. He is a naturalist, no additives just pure juice and patience. I am not much of a drinker but I love making it, which is good for the wine lovers around me. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Nicoletta and I and my family had a good Christmas, and we are wishing you a tremendously joyful and abundant New Year!
      Cheers!
      Loreto and Nicoletta

      • Reply Karen December 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

        Thank you for your lovely wish.

        • Loreto
          Reply Loreto December 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm

          You are very welcome Karen!

  • Reply Milena Perrine December 27, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I would love to be listening to ‘Babylon” while munching on these pizzette! Such a comforting party food and you selected the perfect toppings. Happy New Year to you and Nicoletta!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 28, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Thank you Milena. Don’t you just love that song Babalon. I remember singing it to Nicoetta a few years ago. Love the words and what a great accompaniment Pizzette right?
      Wishing you the greatest year ever!
      Cheers!
      loreto

  • Reply Nicole December 29, 2017 at 10:27 am

    What a perfect New Year’s Eve appetizer. Pizza is always a winner. Happy new year to you both! 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Nicole we think so also, who doesn’t like pizza! I love that they are easy to eat and you can be very creative with the toppings, and it is quite economical also! Thank you for checking this one out.
      Have a most wonderful New Years!
      Cheers!
      Loreto and Nicoletta

  • Reply leslie-anne December 29, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Your family parties sound magical – with the pizza dough waiting to be shaped and the smell of fresh tomato sauce wafting in the air! Oh to be a kid again! This dough looks so soft and easy to work with and make a mighty fine looking pizzette! Happy New Year to both of you – even if you are apart!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Leslie Anne. It is nice to have astore like The Italian Centre Shop where you can get wonderful products and even a fresh pizza dough to go. It is easy quick and delicious, just what the doctor ordered for a New Years Eve Party appetizer. Yes to be a child again knowing what we know today, that would be wonderful!
      Happy New Year to you Leslie anne wishing you the best for 2018!
      Cheers!
      Loreto and Nicoletta

  • Reply Justine @ JustineCelina.com December 31, 2017 at 10:18 am

    What a great entertaining idea! Love the creativity and the ability to customize. Happy New Year to you both — can’t wait to see what you cook up in 2018. Cheers!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto December 31, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Thank you Justine, you are so right as these are so customizable to your liking and I think mini pizzas would become a crowd favourite quite quickly. We are excited for the 2018 year and we will try to keep the flow going. Stay tuned!
      Happy New Year Justine!
      Wishing you the best for the up and coming year!
      Cheers!
      Loreto and Nicoletta

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