Homemade Gino Rosso Pizza

A while ago my absolute favourite pizzeria, Bottelino’s, closed in Bath. I was heartbroken because their pizzas were truly, completely fabulous, and so recently I had a go at recreating the very best one: the Gino Rosso, a sort of souped-up margarita with garlic oil, fresh basil and loads of creamy mozzarella. Before you start looking down on me for choosing a margarita, though, and as I’ve said before, there are many pizza purists who insist that there are only two truly Italian pizzas, and one of them is the margarita. This is a celebration of Italian flavours, and you’ve just got to try it.

For the pizza dough:
½ tsp of yeast
300g strong white flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
170ml of water
For the topping:
250g passata
A couple of fat ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp pesto
A small handful of fresh basil
2 fat garlic cloves
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 balls of mozzarella

Makes 2 fairly large pizzas – if you just want one, you can freeze half of the dough

I’ve got to make a confession at this point and tell you that I used my breadmaker to do the dough – takes all the hard work out of it. If you’ve got one, give this a whirl, and if you haven’t, I really, really recommend getting one. Ours not only makes all kinds of delicious bread, but also does dough for things like pizzas and croissants, and even makes jam.

So to make the pizza dough, I just bunged it all into the breadmaker, switched it on and left it to mix. If you haven’t got one, though, you can do the kneading by hand – combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and then once they start to come together, transfer to a floured board and knead vigorously for fifteen minutes.

Once the dough is ready, divide into two balls and stretch each piece into a rough 25cm circle. Place each on a lightly oiled baking tray. Preheat the oven to 40˚C and put the pizza bases in for 20 minutes, until slightly risen.

In the meantime, mix the passata with the pesto and a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. 
Once the bases are ready, remove from the oven and turn it up to 220˚C. Spread the passata on the bases, taking care not to put too much on, and leaving a clear crust about 2cm wide all the way around. Thinly slice the mozzarella and the tomatoes, then top the pizzas with a layer of cheese followed by the tomato slices. Crush the garlic cloves and scatter the pieces evenly across the pizza.

When the oven’s up to temperature, bake the pizzas for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and starting to turn golden. Top with the fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.