Pizza alla napoletana

    2 hours 40 min

    A home-made pizza is vastly superior in flavour to shop-bought versions, and making your own pizza base – just a bread dough enriched with olive oil – is easy to do. Once you get the hang of it, you can add pizza toppings to order. The topping here, with tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies and olives, is a classic from Naples.

    49 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 340 g (12 oz) strong white (bread) flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 7 g
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) tepid water
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • Napoletana topping
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each
    • ½ tsp caster sugar
    • small handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
    • 150 g (5½ oz) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
    • 8 anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
    • 8 black olives, stoned and halved
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:2hr15min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:2hr40min 

    1. Put the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the water and olive oil. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms a soft dough, adding a little more water if it feels too dry.
    2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1–1 1/2 hours or until double 1/2 in size.
    3. Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to the boil. Leave the mixture to bubble, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half to make a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
    4. Turn out the risen dough onto the lightly floured surface and knock it back, then knead very lightly. Roll or press out to a round about 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and transfer to a greased baking sheet.
    5. Stir the basil into the tomato sauce. Spread the sauce over the pizza base to within 1 cm (1/2 in) of the edge. Arrange the mozzarella, anchovies and olives over the top, then leave the pizza in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF, gas mark 7).
    6. Bake the pizza for 20–25 minutes or until the crust has risen and is golden and the cheese has melted. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

    Each slice provides

    B6, B12, calcium * A, B1, C, E, niacin, selenium * B2, folate, iron, zinc

    Some more ideas

    To make roasted vegetable pizza, cut 2 small red onions into wedges; cut 1 red and 1 yellow pepper into chunks; and thinly slice ½ small aubergine (about 150 g/5½ oz). Toss the vegetables with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a roasting tin, then roast in an oven preheated to 200ºC (400ºF, gas mark 6) for 30 minutes or until soft and just beginning to char. Arrange the vegetables on the tomato sauce in place of the mozzarella and anchovies, and scatter over the olives. After baking, sprinkle with 30 g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, cut into shavings. * To make spinach, mushroom and chorizo pizza, put 200 g (7 oz) baby spinach leaves in a saucepan, cover and cook for 1–2 minutes or until just wilted; drain well. Fry 200 g (7 oz) sliced chestnut mushrooms in 15 g (½ oz) butter until their liquid has evaporated and they are just starting to colour. Arrange the spinach and mushrooms on the tomato sauce in place of the mozzarella, anchovies and olives. Scatter over 30 g (1 oz) thinly sliced chorizo sausage and 2 tbsp pine nuts, then rise and bake.

    Plus points

    Canned tomatoes are a rich source of the phytochemical lycopene (other good sources include pink grapefruit, watermelon and guava). Lycopene can help to protect against several types of cancer and heart disease. * Allicin, the compound that gives garlic its characteristic smell and taste, acts as a powerful antibiotic. It also has antiviral and antifungal properties. Recent studies suggest that garlic may also help to protect against cancer of the stomach and colon.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    excellent! the base is perfect. iI like a very thin crispy crust, so I made one large and two small pizzas from the dough.  -  26 Aug 2009


    Something else. for a thin crust pizza, I made two 9 inch round pizzas and one 12 inch rectangle from the base ingredients.  -  26 Aug 2009


    So much better than bought pizza. Added fresh chopped spinach. Really enjoyed and will make again soon.  -  17 Apr 2016