Pizza and Art – From Italy to Scotland to Minneapolis

Yesterday’s viewing at the Minneapolis Institute of arts of the Venetian Paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland left me inspired and amused. The show of prints and paintings are worth a visit and the entry price is: $8 adults/$6 seniors & groups/$4.  (Can’t beat that.)

The gallery was full of groups that were being lead around by enthusiastic docents. I overheard someone comment on the “nice butt” of one of the figures in the foreground of a large painting. The docent replied, “This is a church group.” I heard a disembodied voice say. “What are all those people doing there?”  (What indeed.) It was a commissioned religious painting with the wealthy merchant, who paid for the painting, and his sons richly and prominently featured in the scene of the Gifts of the Magi.

To me it was a completely postmodern painting. (I know it was painted in the 16th century, but there were architectural references to classical buildings and pale Italian landscapes in the distance amongst the entire hubbub surrounding the Mother and Child theme. Hallucinatory.) My attention and fascination was with the finely rendered white horse and dogs on the right hand side of the painting. Magnificent!

The friend I visited the show with told me with an amused smile that someone in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis vandalized the display of Titians (naked) Venus.  Apparently She needed to have clothes put on her.  Someone covered her up. Click the link to see it.

So by way of Italy, where pizza was invented, this blog brings me to a never fail Pizza Dough recipe from General Mills with love from Minnesota because the recipe is copied from: Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook on Page 162. I used this recipe for years .

Pizza #1

Pizza Dough for 2 pizzas

1 package active dry yeast

¾ cup warm water (105˚ to 115˚)

½ teaspoon of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

2 cups f all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, oil and 1-¾ cups of flour. Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, Knead in enough of the remaining flour to prevent sticking.

Divide dough into halves. Pat each half into a 10-inch circle on a lightly greased cookie sheet with floured fingers. Spread with sauce, Sprinkle with whatever you fancy.

Notes: Instead of sugar, I used honey, which made a sweet dough. I let the dough rise while I prepared the toppings for about 10 or 15 minutes.  Then rolled it out to a thin crust.  My toppings were: Pizza#1, freshly sautéed Baby Bella mushrooms, onions and garlic topped with cheese and basil. Pizza #2 was topped with freshly grated Manchego and Provolone cheeses some salt and pepper and basil.

Manchego cheese is from Spain – it’s an aged sheep’s cheese – this one was 3 months old. Someone who works at Pizza Lola, in Edina Minnesota recommended this cheese to me. It works great on pizza.  It’s flavor is soft yet snappy in contrast to the mild, sweet flavor of the Provolone.  I purchased the Manchego and Provalone cheese at Whole Foods. It’s all about the cheese.

Pizza #2



About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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