Gather your friends, crank that oven to high and share a pizza to watch all the NBL Finals action.
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25 Feb 2020 - 1:39 PM  UPDATED 27 Feb 2020 - 1:54 PM

NBL and pizza fans, get ready! The finals are upon us and it's time to gather a watch crew and lock eyes on the screen. Basketball is simply better with friends and the NBL Finals (here’s how you can tune in to all the action on SBS) promises to be as addictive as, well, pizza.

Which is why you'll want to make sure you've got plenty of slices to go around and we've got your menu plan in order. Fresher, tastier and definitely more inventive than anything you can order in.

Cheat's pizza uses Lebanese bread instead of rolling out the pizza dough.

Homemade pizza tips

A couple of quick tips for making pizza at home.

Firstly, if you've got a wood-fired pizza oven, we're all coming to your place.

Secondly, if you don't, you'll want to get your kitchen oven as hot as you can to get that crisp-crust, bubbly-cheese action happening. Alternatively, you can use the barbecue if it's got a hood - just crank it up, sit an oven rack or pizza stone onto the grill, and pop your pizza on top.

Get your kitchen oven as hot as you can to get that crisp-crust, bubbly-cheese action happening.

A pizza stone is an excellent tool if you can get your hands on one. It will ensure you get a crispy crust without burning the cheese and other toppings.

Also make your dough well in advance to allow ample proving time (this will develop flavour and gluten) and use the best baker's or pizza flour you can find.

Mauro’s perfect pizza dough

"There’s a world of difference between a good pizza dough and a perfect one."

Finally, the secret is in the sauce. Make the best tomato sauce you possibly can to really make your pizza sing. Ditch the tomato paste, immediately.

Tomato sauce (salsa di pomodoro)

A bowl of fresh pasta with tomato sauce and lashings of grated parmesan is one of lifes simple pleasures. Tomatoes are a staple ingredient in Italian cooking and preserving the bounty of summer allows you to have fresh tomato sauce all year round. Add a little crushed garlic or dried oregano to taste. This recipe makes just over 10 litres and can easily be halved.

You can't go wrong with any of these pizza recipes. Put everything together in advance, so when your mates arrive for the big watch party, all you have to do is pop the pizzas in the oven.

Gem of a start

A potato pizza makes a great appetiser. Serve this one up to impress your guests on arrival - it uses purple sapphire potatoes as a little nod to the Sapphires magic. Potato pizza tastes just as good cold as when it's straight out of the oven. 

Oven optional

Frying pan Neapolitan pizza

Silvia Colloca's Neapolitan pizza is made in a pan on the stovetop with just a little help from the grill. Starting with a scorching hot pan means the perfect crispy bottom.

Mix it up

Once you've got the dough right, pizza is all about the toppings. Bend the rules by bringing some Eastern flavours on board. This pizza is topped with bulgogi beef mince, a tomato passata mixed with gochujang, mozzarella and kimchi.

Artichoke or arti-nope

Stefano Manfredi's pork and fennel sausage pizza

You either love artichokes on your pizza or you don't. If you fall into the 'yay artichokes' camp, dive into this pork sausage and ricotta number. If you're feeling more 'nay' then step aside and leave the artichokes to us.

Go native

Kangaroo pizza with beetroot, feta and rocket

Adding kangaroo will please those with a penchant for meat-lovers pizza. It adds a meaty richness and does well in the oven, staying tender during baking. This version has a beetroot base, instead of tomato, and feta steps in for mozzarella cheese.

Mexican rave

Don't be afraid to take inspiration from the taco. This Mexican poblano, corn and zucchini pizza proves that the flavours can be unexpectedly brilliant on a base of baked bread. 

No-gluten, no worries

Cater for your gluten-free friends with a cauliflower pizza base. It turns out just as crisp, light and flavoursome as the usual flour-based dough. You might even find this one topped with tomato, ricotta and chilli is the first to be eaten.

Sweet competition

Competing for the gluten-free pizza of the night is this sweet potato version. The base is veggie-forward, boasting the natural honey notes that come from sweet potato to complement a tomato, goat's cheese and spinach topping.

Nothing fishy

France’s answer to the pizza, pissaladière originated in Nice and can be made with a bread or pastry base, eaten hot or cold. It is full of the strong flavours of the south of France – anchovies, thyme and olives.  Caramelised onion makes an amazing tomato sauce substitute.

Reach new heights

Italian pizza doesn't always feature tomato sauce and mozarella. Alpine pizza uses Gruyère cheese and crème fraîche to top salami and onion.

Move over chips

Fugazzeta

The Argentinian fugazzeta is the country's equivalent to Italian pizza. With over half the Argentinian population believed to be of Italian descent, it just makes sense. Topping it with mountains of onion and cheese (a classic combo) just makes sense, too.

Lahmacun love

Lahmacun is the Turkish version of pizza, enjoyed all over as a late afternoon snack. The pizza uses a thinner dough base and the toppings are suitably spicy. You can make your lahmacun as big as your oven will permit then cut large slices to roll up and eat.

Leave room for dessert

The fact that something called a 'dessert pizza' is a thing makes us very happy indeed. This drool-worthy version is spread with a mixture of mascarpone, lemon zest and cherries, then topped with grated dark chocolate and mint leaves to serve.

WATCH every minute of the 2019-20 NBL finals series LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND, or stream live via SBS On Demand.

GAME DAY SNACKS
Crispy pork and prawn rice paper rolls

Pork and prawn is a popular combo for rice paper rolls. Keep the flavours fresh by packing them with loads of veggies - avocado, lettuce, cucumber, green onion - and serve with hoisin.

Spicy satay chicken skewers

Give your chicken skewers a kick with this rich, spicy peanut sauce.

Fried mozzarella balls (mozzarella fritta)

Fried little balls of cheese are simple perfection. Be sure to drain the bocconcini well, for the perfect crumbed crust. 

Honey-sambal chicken wings

If you love chicken wings, you’re going to LOVE these. And they’re so, so easy. Simply grab a jar of sambal oelek from the supermarket and you’re set. The baking powder helps the chicken cook to crisp, tasty perfection but do be sure to use non-aluminium based powder. It has none of the metallic taste you get with regular baking powder, something you definitely don’t want here. 

Albanian cheese triangles

Ela, a native of Albania, taught us how to make byrek, an Albanian filled pastry. It is made with several layers of a simple dough rolled thinly by hand and filled with a mixture of salty cheese, milk and egg. Serve these warm or at room temperature with a chopped salad for lunch, or make bite-size ones for hors d’oeuvres. They’re also a perfect picnic food.  

Hushpuppies

In Australia, Hush Puppies are a brand of sensible shoes, typically paired with reinforced pantihose and worn by old ladies who still wear hats. In America they’re a cornmeal fritter, filled with anything from onions to fish to vegetables. The version below is pretty standard, so don’t be too scared to improvise. 

Moroccan green pea dip

Sydney chef Hassan M’Souli shares his recipe for a traditional, Northern Moroccan dip using dried green peas and harissa. Serve warm with Moroccan flat bread or crusty bread.