Recipes, Stories

Perfecting The Pizza

30th May 2024

Originating as far back as the 6th century BC, everyone from the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Persians have played a hand in the evolution of pizza as we know it today. It is fair to say the modern-day pizza can be credited to Naples, where this 16th century street food proved popular, but it wasn’t until the invention of Pizza Margherita in 1889, created in honour of the Queen consort, that the humble flatbread became one of the most famous dishes in the world.

Growing up in Alzano Lombardo near Bergamo, a small town in northern Italy, our Head Chef Nik Scarpellini shares some of his earliest memories of pizza making at home, to sticking to his Italian roots when making dough the traditional way. Who better to guide us through the do’s and don’ts of making the perfect pizza.

What’s your favourite pizza memory?

The first memory I have of making pizza is with my mom when I was really young. She would pull up a chair next to the working kitchen table so I could stand on it and pretend to knead the dough alongside her.

What’s your favourite pizza topping combination?

My go to pizza is always anchovy, black olives and capers.

Dare we ask… pineapple on a pizza, or a big no no?

Absolutely not!! Capital sin!

A thin and crispy base or light and fluffy?

It really depends; my go to is a Neapolitan style base, it has a soft dough which absorbs more air while being kneaded, making a thicker and fluffier crust. But, having said that, I’m also partial to a Roman style base, which is thin and loaded with cooked ham and burrata.

What’s the secret to stretching out the perfect pizza base?

Being gentle with the dough is the key to a perfect base. The aim is to stretch the dough as thin as you need, without knocking any air out of it, starting from the middle and pushing the air towards the outside edge.

Who would you most like to share a pizza with?

My fiancée Lottie.

What would you be sipping with your pizza?

Ichnusa, an unfiltered Sardinian lager, or a Campari spritz.

What’s your summer soundtrack?

“Eh, cumpari!” by Julius La Rosa.

What are your tips for making the perfect pizza at home?

My top three tips:

  1. Give your dough a chance to prove more then you’re used to; it adds to the flavour and texture
  2. Do an overnight prove in the fridge for extra flavour and a light dough
  3. Buy a portable pizza oven, they do make the difference! I like Ooni or Gozney
Do you have a simple pizza sauce recipe for making pizza at home?
  • 500g tinned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 30ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 10g fresh oregano leaves (dried is also fine)
  • 30g torn basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Join us this summer in our Garden, for wood fired pizza, summer slushies and cocktails, draught beer, award-winning rosé and garden games for all the family.

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