If you see Pizza Marinara on the menu in a pizzeria/Italian restaurant then you know the proprietors are Italian and/or appreciate proper Italian cooking. The reason I say this is because during our recent trip to Tuscany I ordered Pizza Marinara in a little village pizzeria and the waiter (who was also the owner, thats how small this restaurant was),clearly able to recognise that I am not Italian, warned me that this pizza is topped with oil and NOT mozzarella! His reaction and warning was rather interesting, suggesting this style of pizza does not typically suit non-italians. This is not an unreasonable assumption since in both google and the oxford dictionary the noun “pizza” is defined as “a flat bread of Italian origin generally topped with tomato sauce and cheese”. So cheese is definitely a common, and good, feature of most pizza varieties. But when a Pizza Marinara, like this one, is made using fresh tomato sauce and garlic, on a crisp dough base and drizzled with a nice mild fruity olive oil… the cheese will not be missed. The pizza topping may at first seem a little sparse but the flavours of each individual component are intense and does not need to be heavily applied.
Pizza dough recipe
Enough for 4 medium pizzas (if you only make, the remaining dough can be frozen)
500g Tipo O flour (or use german 550 flour)
1 packet dried yeast (7g)
1 tablespoons olive oil
330g warm water
Pizza topping (for 2 medium pizzas)
Tomato sauce, either homemade or a good quality store bought jar. (4 tablesppons per pizza)
2 Cloves of garlic, thinnly sliced
3-4 Anchovies, chopped.
Extra virgin olive oil
- Combine all the ingredients for the pizza dough in a large bowl, knead using the dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand for 10 minutes. Once kneaded, turn out onto a work surface and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Stretch and fold the rested dough a number of times until the dough becomes silky in texture.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until at least doubled in size.
- When risen, deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal sized pieces.
- Fold each piece in on itself and flip over to give a nice tight ball with the seam underneath.
- Roll each dough ball out into an approximately round pizza like shape. The easiest way is to first flatten out your dough ball using your hands and then use a rolling pin to roll from the centre out followed by a turn of the dough and then from the centre out again. Continue in this way until the dough is no thicker than 5mm.
- Place on either a bakers peel or a rim-less baking tray with baking paper. So that transfer into the oven is easy.
- Loosely cover the doughs with teatowels and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Pre-heat your oven with pizza stone (if using) to 250 degrees C.
- Top your pizza bases with approx. 4 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce. Evenly distribute the slices of garlic and chopped up anchovies (if using), then sprinkle with oregano. Drizzle generously with extra virgin oilve oil.
- Transfer your pizza to your pre-heated pizza stone or baking tray and bake at 250 degrees C for 10-15 minutes until the dough is slightly browned and crisp underneath. Serve immediately.
Enjoy this pizza with a nice fresh salad, and a glass of Primitivo wine.