Italian, as well as Chinese…? — Pizza

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  The origin of pizzas is quit controversial. However, a very interesting version is that pizzas are Chinese pies in Italian style.

In the 13th century, Marco Polo was travelling in China. He really loved a kind of Chinese pie so when he came back to Italy years later he tried to make this pie himself. There is one problem tho — He had no idea about how to get the filling into the pie. Nonetheless he finally just cover the pie with the filling. We all know what happened then… XD.

 

Here is a easy way to make a tasty pizza.

Ingredients

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

  • 100ml passata
  • 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

To finish

  • handful basil, leaves (optional)

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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