There’s pizza and there’s pizza. There are thickbased, soggy, drooping excuses-for-pizza, covered with a melange of oversalted, barely identifiable odds and sods. And then there’s thin-based, crisp, slightly charred and smoky pizza, topped with choice titbits – salty ham, garlicky scraps of mushroom, crumblings of good cheese – ingredients that function almost as mere seasonings for the glorious bread base, which is, quietly, the real star. No prizes for guessing what I’m presenting you with here. Once you’ve kneaded this easy dough, cranked up your oven to its highest setting and baked your first proper pizza, you’ll never look back.
The tomato sauce suggested overleaf is just one possibility – you could use instead a few spoonfuls of the sieved roasted tomatoes that go into the sauce. Then again, you could cook a sauce with skinned, diced fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. However you do it, the important thing is not to use too much – you’re after a thin covering, not a swamping, so that you can still see patches of pizza base showing through. Don’t be afraid to forego the tomato sauce altogether, as I have for the pizza illustrated here – just trickle the dough generously with good olive oil flavoured with grated garlic before you apply the toppings.