I have a confession to make. I like – nay, love – those pizza subs you get in the supermarket for £1. Although the ones I buy in Tesco only have ‘normal’ ingredients that you’d find in a pizza you’d make yourself from scratch (wheat flour, tomato purée, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, water, yeast, salt, rapeseed oil, sugar, dried herbs, dried garlic and spices), I can’t help thinking that something in a packet that costs so little can’t be the healthiest of choices. So, I decided to make my own pizza subs but on a panini instead of a baguette and with fresh homemade vegan mozzarella adapted from the moxarella recipe at Vedged Out.
I’ve made this moxarella before and it’s more of a sauce than a cheese and although it’s great on a pizza, because of its sauciness, it would make a perfect vegan sauce for lasagne or just for dipping nachos into. As you can see on the Vedged Out post, apparently it does brown and you can see in my pic it was on the verge of browning but I didn’t want to risk burning my pizza because a) I hate burnt food; and b) no one wants to see a photo of a burnt pizza (but if you do, there’s probably some weird fetish site for that kind of thing).
It’s well worth taking the time to make the moxarella because it’s so quick and easy and so much nicer than that minging Tesco Free From Soya Cheese I tried the other day (although it was fab in my Vegan Cheese, Chilli and Mustard Straws).
I used my Froothie Optimum G2.1 blender to blend the ingredients for the moxarella which made it beautifully smooth, but the last time I made it, I didn’t have a good blender and it still turned out fine – just make sure you do soak the cashews to soften them before blending.
The quantity in this recipe will make enough for two or three panini pizzas (if you count two halves of a panini as one pizza) and I’ve frozen the leftover moxarella but I have no idea if it freezes well but I’m sure it’d keep in the fridge for a few days. [Update: I have now had some after defrosting it at room temperature for a few hours and it was just as good. So freeze away.]
I used passata as the tomato base, purely because I had some in the freezer, but you could make your own tomato sauce from scratch or just use tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup or tomato puree. I then added my favourite toppings of mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, olives and fresh chilli (especially as I wanted to try the black chilli I’d bought from Tesco that afternoon. It pleased my inner goth but it was disappointingly mild. A black chilli should not be mild).
- 1 panini, sliced in half lengthways
- 4 tbsp passata (or other tomato base - for example, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, tomato ketchup or tomato puree)
- Your choice of toppings (I used sun dried tomatoes, olives, mushrooms and chilli)
- A few basil leaves
- ¼ cup cashews, soaked for a few hours
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp tapioca starch (I bought mine on eBay)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (I bought mine on Amazon)
- Blend all the moxarella ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour into a saucepan and stir constantly over a medium high heat.
- After a couple of minutes the mixture will start to look as if it's separating or curdling - this is normal, so don't panic!
- Reduce the heat and keep stirring for a couple of minutes until the cheese sauce is really thick.
- Remove from the heat while you assemble your pizzas.
- Spread the passata (or other tomato base) on the panini halves
- Layer on top your choice of toppings
- Top with blobs of the moxarella and cook in the oven at 200C for about 10 minutes.
For another vegan pizza suggestion, check out Kate at The Veg Space’s Broccoli, Kale, Chilli & Hazelnut Pizza.
Disclosure: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.