Pizza Alla Napoletana

Making your own pizza base is simple – just a bread dough enriched with olive oil – and has great flavour. This pizza is a classic from Naples: tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies and olives.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 2 portions

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 200 g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
  • 8 black olives, stoned and halved
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 400 g strong white flour
  • 1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 7 g
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

Put the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the water and olive oil. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough, adding a little more water if it feels too dry.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1–1 1/2 hours or until double 1/2 in size.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to the boil. Leave the mixture to bubble, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half to make a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Turn out the risen dough onto the lightly floured surface and knock it back, then knead very lightly. Roll or press out to a round about 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Stir the basil into the tomato sauce. Spread the sauce over the pizza base to within 1 cm (1/2 in) of the edge. Arrange the mozzarella, anchovies and olives over the top, then leave the pizza in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF, gas mark 7).

Bake the pizza for 20–25 minutes or until the crust has risen and is golden and the cheese has melted. Cut into wedges and serve warm.