Food & Drink

Have a slice day

Crispy dough base, tangy tomato sauce, melted cheese and a multitude of topping choices – when the Italians combined these magical ingredients to invent pizza in the 1500s, the world (eventually) rejoiced. Although once considered a peasant food, nowadays pizza is the ultimate Friday night treat, perfect for feeding a crowd – no matter how fussy. National Pizza Day falls on the 9th February this year, so here we provide some recipes for making your own at home – go on, give it a dough!

Short on time?

If you haven’t got the time to make your own dough, or maybe the supermarket was all out of the ready-to-roll variety, fear not!
You can also put pizza toppings on wraps, naan breads,
pittas and flatbreads – why not give it a try?

Classic pizza dough


(makes 6 8in pizza bases)

650g ’00’ flour (or strong white flour), plus extra
for dusting

7g sachet of dried easy-blend yeast

2 tsp salt

25ml olive oil

50ml warm milk

325ml warm water


Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl and then stir in the olive oil and milk. Gradually add the water, mixing well to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for around an hour, or until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, take it out onto a floured surface and knead again to knock out the air, roll into a ball and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour until risen again. If you’re making ahead, you can freeze the dough after this step. Divide into 6 balls and wrap each in cling film. Then simply defrost overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Divide the dough into six balls and roll each out on a lightly floured work surface until 20cm/8in in diameter (you can
also make one giant pizza if you like!). Spread some passata over each pizza base and top with your
favourite toppings. Bake the pizzas in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the bases are crisp, golden brown around the edges and any cheese on top has melted.

Homemade pizza sauce

Yes, you could just use passata or tomato purée, but we’re going the whole hog on National Pizza Day!


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat, then add the onion along with a generous pinch of salt. Fry gently for 12-15 mins or until the onion has softened and is turning translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Tip in the tomatoes and purée along with the bay leaf, oregano and sugar. Bring to the boil and lower the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins or until thickened and reduced. Season. For a smoother sauce, blitz with a stick blender. Finally, stir the basil into the sauce. This keeps well in the fridge (use within a week) or can be frozen for use at a later date.


(covers 4-6 large pizzas)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, crushed

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp tomato purée

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tsp brown sugar

1 small bunch basil, finely chopped

Now, it’s time for toppings…

The great thing about making your own pizza is how versatile this makes the dish – you can cater to all dietary requirements; use whatever type of cheese you like and really get creative with the toppings. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classics, such as pepperoni and margherita, and there will always be the age-old debate over pineapple (personally, I’m all for it), but here we thought we’d provide some different suggestions to inspire you this National Pizza Day.

Goat’s cheese, rocket and caramelised onion (V)


Per individual pizza

100g soft goat’s cheese

2 big handfuls wild rocket

2-3 tsp caramelised onion chutney

2 tbsp tomato purée or homemade pizza sauce


Spread the tomato purée or homemade pizza sauce across the base, top with crumbled goat’s cheese chunks, blobs of caramelised onion chutney and scatter over the rocket. Cook at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 for 10 minutes or until base is golden and crisp.

Eggs Florentine pizza


Covers two medium pizza bases

6 bacon rashers

150g baby spinach leaves

125ml passata/homemade pizza sauce

80g grated cheese

2 eggs (alternatively you can use 3 quails eggs per pizza)

100g cherry tomatoes, halved


Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add spinach to pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Place pizza bases on an oven tray. Spread evenly with passata/homemade pizza sauce and sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with the spinach and bacon then crack an egg in the middle of each pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and top with the tomatoes. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is golden and egg is cooked as desired.

Chicken tikka masala pizza naans


Serves 4

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

4 garlic and coriander naan breads

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 green peppers, sliced

2-3 tbsp tikka masala curry paste

150ml natural yogurt

1 green chilli, thinly sliced

1 small pack coriander, leaves torn

Few dollops of mango chutney, to serve


Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Toss the red onion with the red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and set aside (the vinegar will soften the onion slightly). Put the naan breads on a baking tray, sprinkle over a little water, then put in the oven for 2 minutes to heat up. Put the chicken and peppers in a frying pan with the curry paste, toss together, then fry over a high heat for 6-8 minutes until cooked. Take the naans out of the oven and spread each with natural yogurt, then top with the chicken, red onion, green chilli, coriander and mango chutney.

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