As you may know from my Instagram posts, I am currently on holiday in the wonderful, one-of-a-kind island of Cuba. I will talk about this trip soon, but for now I want to share a recipe which I recently worked on for the Argos’ website: Courgette Pizza with Mozzarella, Lemon Zest & Basil.
Argos teamed up with five food bloggers to bring their readers five alternative pizza recipes and to show how simple and satisfying it is to make pizza at home. You can find all the recipes here, there are some very interesting and original ideas such as rainbow veggie pizza and breakfast pizza with berries.
When going out for a meal in a pizzeria, my pizza of choice is generally a Margherita base, simply because you can never go wrong with a classic. But if I know a restaurant makes very good dough, or if I have the time to make it at home, then I like to go for a “white pizza”, without tomato sauce. One of my favourite toppings for white pizza is courgettes, or zucchini. If they are in season, courgette flowers are also amazing on pizza!
As you know I grew up in Italy and like most Italians I love pizza. My mum used to make pizza at home around once a month and to me it always felt like a special occasion. She would “cheat” a bit and buy the freshly made dough from our local bakery. Since I cannot buy dough from a bakery in London like my mum does in Rome, I had to learn how to make it myself.
Making pizza can seem daunting at first, but actually it isn’t that difficult, especially once you find the perfect recipe that works for you and your taste. The first and most important step is to make a good dough and let it rise long enough. Then you can choose how to cook it (for example you could use a flat tray or a cast iron skillet) and which toppings to use.
Always top your pizza with the best quality ingredients you can find: homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, seasonal vegetables, good extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh herbs.
Makes two standard size round pizzas.
For the dough
- 250g white bread flour
- 250g white spelt flour
- 250g warm water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5-10g salt
- 7g dry yeast
For the toppings
- 2 medium courgettes, spiralised or grated
- 250-300g fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 lime zest
- handful of basil leaves
Using your hands or a food processor, mix together the warm water, flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil. Don’t add all the water at once: slowly add a little bit, then mix the ingredients, keep adding the water until you obtain the right texture.
You should have a ball of dough that is smooth and not sticky.
Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave it in a warm room for at least half day or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Divide the dough in two balls. You can freeze one for another time.
Flatten and stretch the dough using your hands or a rolling pin until you have a 22cm / 9” pizza base. Place it in a skillet or an oven tray lined with parchment paper.
Spread the grated courgettes over the pizza base. Bake the pizza in the oven for ten minutes.
When the base is browned and nearly cooked, take the pizza out of the oven quickly (close the oven immediately) and add the mozzarella, olive oil, basil, lime zest, oregano and salt. Bake for another five minutes and serve straight away.
You can store leftover pizza in the fridge, covered with cling film. I do it all the time and I have to say that my pizza always taste great the next day!
To make the classic Margherita pizza, follow my recipe here!
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Argos. All opinions are my own.