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,

Imen

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

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