I'm so over pizzas with tomato bases
Unconventional pizza bases are on the rise, and I'm loving it
No, I'm not talking about the so-wrong-it's-right option of a barbecue base, or the just plain wrong KFC gravy Pizza Hut abomination that broke the Internet a few weeks ago. Nope - I'm referring to the increasing number of left-field alternatives to the traditional tomato pizza.
Image via Home Slice
Home Slice is particularly good at this. You can order the establishment's gigantic sharing pizzas (if you get one all to yourself, I won't judge) with a variety of intriguing base options like tahini, garlic oil and – my personal favourite – corn cream. The latter option sounds particularly bizarre, but teamed up with chorizo, it works perfectly. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself.
If you don't want to fully abandon tomato, Franco Manca has a bunch of options with only a light suggestion of the stuff. Cutting back or getting rid of such a rich, punchy ingredient means the toppings can take centre stage – they're no longer competing for attention. And the resulting pizza is much less likely to be repeating on you for the next four hours. Win-win!
Image via Franco Manca
Santa Maria – rightfully a regular fixture of 'London's best pizza' listicles – does a pumpkin-based pizza I'm keen to try, but for a true taste of the alternative, you need to head to either Edinburgh or London. Both cities are fortunate enough to host branches of @Pizza, a place which will – for the low price of £10.95 – let you go completely mad with over 50 different available ingredients.
Apparently, there are 64,000 combinations available, but the ones we're most interested in involve switching out the usual tomato or barbecue base for something a little different – roquito pepper sauce, pesto or garlic and ricotta. I tried the latter with a smattering of meat toppings, and it was one of the best pies I've had in my life.
Ricotta and garlic base, meatballs, chorizo, Italian sausage and peppers. GET IN MY MOUTH
Who cares if all of this puts the average Neapolitan purist on the verge of a fit of rage? The great thing about pizza is it's open to interpretation. And that doesn't have to be restricted to the stuff we stick on top.
So the next time you're eyeing up a non-tomato, non-barbecue-based option on the menu, ignore your reservations and go for it. I can almost guarantee it won't be the only time you cheat on the red stuff.