Tinned spaghetti pizza: New Zealand’s prime minister shocks with ‘monstrous’ recipe

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Bill Englishs unusual toppings have divided a nation, leading the Guardian to recreate his pizza (so you dont have to)

If a prime minister wants to truly unite a nation one way not to do it is to cook a pizza with spaghetti topping.

This seems to be the lesson that New Zealands leader, Bill English, can take away after he dabbled in the kitchen and sprinkled his result on social media this week.

On Tuesday night English cooked dinner for his family a 1980s rural Kiwi classic: tinned spaghetti and pineapple pizza. Later, he posted a series of photos of his home-spun efforts on Facebook.

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New Zealand prime minister Bill English- and his pizza Photograph: Facebook

The photographs, blurry and un-retouched, caused a culinary uproar on Facebook and Twitter, with some Kiwis declaring they couldnt vote for a prime minister who so wantonly bastardised Italian cuisine.

Cant believe you posted this. Not being a pizza snob or anything but assume that you have sampled real pizza at least once in your life? wrote one.

Why on earth would you promote such garbage? Would you serve this stuff to your international guests?? or is this just for the masses?

Nick Blakiston (@nickblakiston)

If Bill English didn’t have your vote already, surely the spaghetti x pineapple pizza seals the deal

April 4, 2017

Some also wondered whether the PMs light-hearted and seemingly spontaneous post was in fact an effort to divert attention from more serious issues being debated in New Zealand including whether English should order an investigation into alleged war crimes by New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010.

If youre trying to deflect attention from Afghanistan or the continued mismanagement of common pool resources youre doing a good job mate because this is a monstrosity. Couldnt even keep the toppings from sliding off the base? wrote one outraged commentator.

Peter Green (@pitakakariki)

Bill English: I’m in trouble for covering up possible war crimes.
Crosby/Textor: Divide the left by posting your terrible pizza.

April 4, 2017

Others however, applauded his efforts to cook simply and cheaply for his family of eight. Some said tinned spaghetti and pineapple pizza was a nostalgic staple of a Southland childhood (English hails from the tiny farming community of Dipton at the bottom of the South Island) and they praised his budget-friendly dinner as an affordable option for beneficiaries.

dylab nehan (@dylabolical)

Leave Bill English alone. If you had 6 kids canned spaghetti would be the height of gourmet cooking for you too! #nzpol

April 5, 2017

One woman wrote: Yup this is how we made pizzas growing up! Must be a Southland thing! Still make them like this for my kids and they love them. Sometimes we use baked beans oops, maybe Ive just opened another can of worms

Unsure of the quality of Englishs recipe, the Guardian decided the only way to arbitrate was to engage a chef, find the key ingredients and perform a taste test.

This correspondent is not unfamiliar with tinned spaghetti. For two weeks on a remote cattle station in Australians Northern Territory, I ate tinned spaghetti sandwiches three times a day.

So what was it like?

Dominos Pizza in North Dunedin was willing to provide most of the ingredients (it doesnt do spaghetti) and an oven to enable our taste test.

The PMs special a tomato base, layered with pineapple chunks, bacon and tinned spaghetti took one minute to pull together and eight minutes to cook. It was sloppy and lacked texture, immediately falling to pieces in my hands (we forgot to use Bills trick of draining the spaghetti sauce first).

But it was good. Really good. Good in the way straight-forward crowd-pleasers often are. Unpretentious, with immediate, uncomplicated flavours (cheese, tomato, bread), and a surprising yum factor. Ravenous, I gobbled it up. I could have done with a spoon.

It is a pizza to be eaten quickly, sans tablecloth, sans cutlery, sans fuss. In my view its just fine.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/tinned-spaghetti-pizza-new-zealands-prime-minister-shocks-with-monstrous-recipe