Make one of the most representative dishes of Italian cuisine that crosses the lines in history between myth and reality.
Photo by G. Giustolisi
Pizza is one of the most representative Italian dishes. Like many other culinary creations of traditional Italian cuisine, it also sinks its history between myth and reality.
The scenario of this story is the South Italy and the beautiful city of Naples, magical place in which were born many iconic Italian dishes.
It was the summer of 1889, when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy resided in the palace of Capodimonte, near Naples. The Queen had already heard of the famous Neapolitan pizza and, wanting to taste it, she called the most famous pizza maker at the time, Don Raffaele. The man, together with his wife, prepared three different types of pizza that, in the colors, attracted the Italian flag: one with cheese and basil; one with garlic, oil and tomato and another with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Queen Margherita liked so much the latter that Don Raffaele gave her name to the pizza, although this type of pizza already existed and was known and appreciated throughout the city.
A simple dish and, just for this, difficult to perform. What makes inimitable the Neapolitan pizza is the perfect blend of high quality flour and the organoleptic characteristics of the water in the area (in addition to the manual of the Neapolitan pizza makers, their natural talent). In Italy, you can eat a great pizza from North to South but the world capital of pizza is and remains Naples.
At home, is not always easy to make a good pizza (often, it depends also on the homemade oven, that, of course, can’t replace the stone oven). In any case, even the homemade pizza, is one of those pleasures to be granted, using simple but first choice ingredients (pizza, like pasta, not make you fat, as is commonly believed abroad, if seasoned with few and genuine ingredients).
Water, unrefined ancient Farro flour, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese are the main ingredients of my basic recipe.
Love and passion are the added values that will make special your Italian homemade pizza.
Pizza MargheritaVeronica Lavenia
- 600 g 21 ounces Farro (or Kamut) flour
- sea salt to taste
- 12 g ¼ oz instant dry yeast
- 500 ml 17 fl oz water
- buffalo mozzarella to taste
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 500 ml 17 fl oz tomato pulp
- a sprig of basil
- Mix together the flour, salt and instant dry yeast until you get a soft dough, adding water little by little.
- Let the mixture rise for 20 minutes (recommended time, only if you use instant yeast).
- Brown the garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Remove it and cook tomato pulp until the sauce is consistent (15 minutes).When tomato is cook, add extra virgin olive oil to taste and basil.
- Roll out the dough on an oiled baking pan. Pour the tomato sauce. Slice the mozzarella cheese and pour over the tomato.
- Season with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and basil.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F/ gas 4 for 30 minutes.
Veronica is a born and raised Italian. She inherited her love for travel, passion for cooking and natural, sustainable, healthy slow food from her parents. Her works have appeared in 'Vegetarian Living', 'Veggie Magazine', 'Lifestyle food', 'Australian Good Food & Travel Guide', 'Chickpea' and 'Free from Heaven', among others. She is the author of "Panini: the simple tastes of Italian style bread"; 'The Rustic Italian bakery", "The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen" and "A Modern Italian table", published by New Holland Publishers Australia.