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Gill Meller's British Margherita Pizza

Makes 2 large pizzas

2 hours, plus proving

What better way to celebrate good tomatoes than on a Margherita pizza? The all-important sauce is made by gently roasting Isle of Wight tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, fresh thyme and basil until soft and blistering. There's nothing better.

8 Farmdrop products in this recipe

£27.66

Here's how you do it

  1. Heat the oven to 140–150°C/gas mark 1–2.

  2. To make the dough, place the flour, salt and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough hook. In a jug, combine the yeast with the water and whisk to dissolve. Pour this over the flour and switch on the machine. Allow it to run for 4–5 minutes, until the dough is soft, smooth and pliable. Alternatively, roll up your sleeves and knead your dough by hand for 10 to 12 minutes on a lightly floured work surface.

  3. Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and pop in the dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to prove for 3–4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

  4. To prepare your tomatoes, cut any larger ones into quarters and a handful of the smaller tomatoes in half. Place on a large baking tray, cut-side up. Leave the rest of the tomatoes whole and scatter them onto the baking tray too.

  5. Finely slice half the basil, pick the tender leaves from the stems of thyme, then finely slice the garlic. Scatter these over the tomatoes, trickle over half the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

  6. Place the baking tray in the oven and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are collapsed and caramelised.

  7. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. At this point you want to make the roasted tomato sauce. Take half the larger tomatoes and rub them through a sieve using the back of a ladle, extracting all that rich thick sauce but leaving the skin and seeds behind. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. If it’s too thin you can reduce it in a pan over a medium heat until you have a thicker spoonable consistency.

  8. Preheat the oven to 240°C/gas 8, if it goes that high, or at least 220°C. Place a baking sheet or pizza stone inside to warm up.

  9. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knock it back, then let it rest for a minute or two before dividing into three. Dust the dough with more flour, then roll out each ball nice and thinly.

  10. Carefully remove the hot sheet or pizza stone from the oven and lay a piece of rolled dough onto it. Then, top the pizza as quickly as you can.

  11. Spoon over half the roast tomato sauce and use a spoon to spread it out towards the edges of the dough. Tear over half the mozzarella, then arrange half the remaining whole tomatoes along with a generous grating of hard goats cheese. Finish with a trickle of your best olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  12. Bake the pizza for 10–15 minutes, or until crisp and golden at the edges – even a little charred in places. Finish with more fresh basil and serve straight away. Repeat this process for the remaining pizza.

Recipe by Gill Meller

Ingredients

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes (mixed sizes, colours and shapes)
  • 1 bunch of basil (30g) (optional)
  • a handful of fresh thyme stems
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g buffalo mozzarella
  • 50g hard goats’ cheese

For the dough

  • 500g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 320ml lukewarm water
  • salt and black pepper

Suitable for

  • Vegetarians

What’s in this recipe

The Tomato Stall

Organic Large Vine Tomatoes

500g Punnet

£3.22

Westlands

Mixed Speciality Tomatoes - Westlands

1 Punnet (~500g)

£4.45

£8.90/kg

Shipton Mill

Organic Traditional White Flour (For Bread)

1 Bag (1kg)

£1.65

£1.65/kg