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
A couple of fat ripe tomatoes
A small handful of fresh basil
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