Many of you know what an avid fan I was watching the Next Food Network Star this season. Originally rooting for a friend to win, after her departure I then became totally and madly in love with Aarti Sequeria, known as Aarti Paarti. Her Indian inspired dishes with a twist have given me a new light for cooking and made me love my spice cabinet even more.
When Aarti won her pilot with her Naan Pizza, I wanted to taste the recipe myself. As much as I was questioning in my head using mango chutney in the tomato sauce, I decided not to play with the recipe and to try to get a true feel of what the judges tasted in the Food Network Studios.
So I bought all my ingredients and got ready for cooking. I prepared the tomato mango chutney sauce and adjusted the sauce by adding more water than called out on her original recipe. ( I think my sauce might have been too thick based on the thicker texture of the Middle Eastern tomato paste I use. ) My other change was that I used fontina cheese instead of mozzarella since this is all I had in my fridge. It worked perfectly with paneer.
Well, the results were pretty amazing!!! The chutney just added a zing to the sauce and the seasoning combined with cheese worked perfectly on the Trader Joe’s brand Garlic Flavored Naan.
Besides winning my husband’s heart with the recipe, I also won my Mom’s. I had saved a slice for her to try…. I know, I know – I was pretty thoughtful… She called me to personally thank me the next day for the pizza. When I answered the phone, instead of her usual check ups on how we’re all doing…(mind you that I see her almost every day, since she helps us in great depth with our girls.) The very first sentence that came out of her mouth was in Armenian… here is the English translation: “Oh my God Adelle… that was such an amazing pizza. Thanks so much! What did you have in there? What was in the sauce? How did you make it? You need to show me how you prepared it! We need to make them together next time so I can see how exactly you prepared it! ” After I told her it was pretty simple and ended my call promising to share with her the recipe.
I was still surprised by her reaction… I already knew the pizza tasted good, hence why I shared. Considering that she is so critical of everything I do, I was so happy that I won her attention with just a slice of pizza. I was waiting for her to say something more negative than positive…waiting for a more typical mom reply.
Anyways, my advice is to make them for your next get together. It’s best to serve them warm. This is definitely going to be a keeper for me… and my Mom too. Haha.
I guess this is why Aarti is the Next Food Network Star!!!! YAY!!!! Here is the original recipe that I got from Food Network’s site.
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons sweet mango chutney (recommended: Patak’s Sweet Mango Chutney)
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup water
- salt and black pepper
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1 cup crumbled paneer cheese*
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 large green onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- A glug extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 frozen naan bread(recommended: Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan)
- 8 slices prosciutto, torn
Directions: (The directions are directly from the Aarti’s recipe)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, combine the tomato paste, mango chutney, minced garlic, and water over medium heat, until well combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the fontina, paneer, red pepper flakes, cilantro, green onion, ground cumin and extra-virgin olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicy!
Arrange the naans on a cookie sheet. Divide the tomato-mango chutney sauce evenly among the naans, spreading to coat the top. Evenly divide the cheese mixture among the naans. Throw in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisped around the edges.
Meanwhile, tear the prosciutto into small pieces. When the pizzas are ready, top them with the fresh prosciutto. Cut each naan into 4, and serve!