My name is Imen McDonnell and I am powerless over pizza.

Okay, maybe I’m not quite a pizza-holic, but pizza has always played a big role in my life.  My fondness for this Italian delicacy probably stemmed from my father’s adoration of the same…we’d often find ourselves sharing a pepperoni and cheese from our local, Port Sandy Bay {whom, I might add, also served the Infamous “Snowcoaster” pizza which was prepared on a shiny round snow sled} and it was such a treat. If I was ever home from school with a cold, my dad insisted that I eat pizza and it was remarkably healing.

As years went on, I would always find myself on a mission to experience pizza wherever I traveled or lived. In Los Angeles, Joe’s Pizza was a favorite; in New York I favoured Ray’s…I’ve had a brilliant pizza at BIKO in Mexico City and of course, in Italy…her birthplace, where pizzerias can be found around nearly every corner, but for me, most memorable at the  10 Corso Como cafe in Milan any choice of little pizza cafés dotting the streets of Rome or along a tiny windy road in Positano.  {I’ve yet to experience a Napoli pizza, my father’s favorite, which has been on my list since as long as I can remember}

When I lived in Minneapolis, brick-oven pizza was king and I had places like Punch and Biga on heavy rotation as I was a single professional who often worked late, couldn’t find time to cook at home in the evenings and longed for something healthy that went well with a glass of red after a long day. In fact, if I fancied, I could even have my pizza delivered to me by a superhero which was always divine.

Since moving to Ireland, I have had great luck with La Cucina, a sweet Italian eatery located in Limerick City near the offices of a production studio I worked at for a time. We would often pick up delicious pizzas or pasta for the crew from Lorraine, a friendly Irish girl who married an Italian and created a lovely restaurant together.

When we went to Inishfood in Donegal last month, we experienced Darren Bradley’s amazing brick-oven pizza at his home near the beach on the gorgeous Inishowen peninsula one evening….which reminded me a bit of going to the bucolic Pizza Farm, only with Irish microbrews accompanying our slices at twilight.

It goes without saying that after we moved into our country home, I would have to learn how to make my own pizza if we wanted to eat it on a regular basis. I started searching for pizza dough recipes and after going through at least 5-6 that seemed to have great potential; I stumbled upon this one from, of all places, Modern Country Cooking and I have never looked back.

If you love a super thin crispy crust, this is for you. I make up the batch and freeze or refrigerate half of it. We love getting creative and mixing it up, making everything from Moroccan to Thai pizzas and when there are odds and ends in the crisper after a week of meals, Sunday morning breakfast pizza is the ultimate.

Inspired by Darren’s potato version from Inishfood, I decided to add some of my favorite local ingredients, Crowe’s Farm streaky rashers and Ardsullagh Goat’s Cheese along with truffle oil, minced garlic and fresh rosemary which grows right in front of our house. This particular pizza does not call for a tomato base, but  the crust is just as delicious with passata and the toppings of your choice.


Hope you like it as much as we do!


Slan Abhaile,


Photos and Styling by Imen McDonnell. Assisted by Sonia Mulford Chaverri

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16 Responses to “Farmhouse Pizza Rustica”

  1. Dee Higgins says:

    Will def try this weekend. Sounds yum!!!

  2. Aaron Plautz says:

    The layout of your blog is great. Who made your design?

  3. […] made Imen’s lovely pizza dough countless times since April, with consistently tasty results, and finding some […]

  4. […] for 89c and if you’re anything like me and newly addicted to homemade pizzas (all down to Modern Farmette), Mozzarella is down to just €1 per bag.  If you’re into your saussies, Brockwurst, a German […]

  5. Aoife Mc says:






  6. Oh hell. Now I want THAT for dinner and not the Shepherd’s Pie that’s already in the oven. Hmpf.

  7. Hello Imen! I headed over here after the shout out on Sylvie’s blog. I love what I am seeing. This rustic pizza must be very satisfying and the styling on the first photograph is great!

  8. Catherine J says:

    Hi Imen, I love your blog, and your food styling is beautiful! I too am a fan of the home-made pizza and am always looking for new ideas & tips so will be looking forward to trying your base recipe. A great tip I saw, I think on Catherine Fulvio’s show, is to use the baking tray upside down when baking the pizza so it’s much easier to slide it off once it’s cooked, it has saved me a few times!

  9. Darren Bradley says:

    Looks great, your dough recipe is nearly identical to mine except i have a teaspoon more sugar in mine. i make mine the night before and separate the batch into sandwich/freezer bags and put in the fridge, amazingly it still rises in the fridge. Looking forward to my curing bacon from #inishfood being ready to try it on a pizza.

  10. eilis boyle says:

    Seriously tempting!! Will definitely try this recipe, I really want a brick oven too!!!!

    • imen says:

      Eilis, it is really outstanding…can’t believe it was in that cookbook, but soooo yum and super light! Thanks for your comment =)

  11. Susan says:

    Imen this looks divine! I always do homemade pizzas for dinner on Friday nights. Last Friday I made a goat’s cheese and bacon pizza and it was delish. However, I used a store bought base, so of course I’m looking forward to trying out your recipe as your crust looks better.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • imen says:

      Susan, thanks for your comment! Give it a go!! It’s super yum and super easy…fine to freeze to pull out a few days later too for an easy supper!

  12. Kristin says:

    This looks amazing! And of course you can’t go wrong with TJ’s bacon either.

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