Aldo Zilli's margherita pizza
6 May 2020
Aldo Zilli is an award-winning celebrity chef and restaurateur who specialises in Italian, vegetarian and seafood cuisine. He has been a strong supporter of a number of charities over the years and in early April this year he cooked more than 50 pizzas for NHS nurses & doctors of East Surrey Hospital, Redhill.
Aldo Zilli is an award-winning celebrity chef and restaurateur who specialises in Italian, vegetarian and seafood cuisine.
For the base
300g strong bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
For the tomato sauce
Handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping
125g ball mozzarella, sliced
Handful grated or shaved parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful basil leaves (optional)
Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.
Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base. Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.
Watch the video below for additional tips and tricks.
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