Let’s make a classic Margherita pizza with fresh basil and anchovies.
Simple is often best in my book – especially if you take the time to make each component from scratch. For this recipe, I’ve used some of my summer garden tomato bounty for a slow-roasted sauce that serves as the base for this pizza. Roasting the tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinegar lend a depth to the sauce, along with a hit of anchovy oil and a whole lot of verdantly aromatic basil.
A speedy dough starts off the process before creamy Fior di Latte mozzarella, salty brown anchovy fillets and lots of fresh basil flavour the creation.
Margherita Pizza with Basil & Anchovies
Prep time: 30 mins /Cook time: 8 mins /Makes: 2 pizzas
For the tomato sauce, you will need:
- 1kg tomatoes (I used a mixture of cherry & heirloom tomatoes from my garden)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- 8-10 brown anchovy fillets in oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- A generous handful of fresh basil, washed
- 15ml tomato concentrate/paste
- A ball of Fior di Latte mozzarella
- 15ml baby capers
For the dough:
- 500g Italian “00” flour
- 7g instant dried yeast sachet
- 300ml lukewarm water
- 10ml fine salt
- 20ml olive oil
Wash and halve a kilogram of tomatoes and add them to a mixing bowl. Pour in 30ml each of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt. Pour the tomatoes into a roasting dish and scatter over 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Preheat your oven to 200°C, reducing the heat to 140°C once the tomatoes go in. Roast for 2 hours – low and slow. Once cooked, add in 3-4 brown anchovy fillets and a tablespoon of their oil, along with a handful of fresh basil and 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate. Blend until smooth.
For the pizza dough, combine the flour, dried yeast and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and olive oil. Using hands, mix the water into the flour until it forms dough. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a cloth for about 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock the dough down, cut into sections and roll out the dough balls to about 20cm in diameter.
Spread over the tomato sauce and tear the mozzarella into chunks to scatter over the pizza. Drape over a some anchovy fillets and scatter the baby capers over the top. In a preheated 220°C oven, bake the pizza for 8 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden. To serve, drizzle with olive oil, scatter over some fresh basil and slice!