Recipe: The Ultimate Pizza Express Style Fresh Topped Pizza
Years ago, on the limited edition menu at Pizza Express there was this pizza that I absolutely adored and ate every time I went in there all year until it was discontinued, and they’ve never had anything on there menu as good as it again. It had a light crispy base with the usual tomato sauce, but the rest of the ingredients were served freshly crumbled on top, and it was served in a slight oblong shape on a piece of slate with a pizza slice. I used to find it perfect with a tall cold glass of Sicilian Lemonade.
I love making my own pizza (I’m still working on a recipe for Full English Breakfast Pizza I just can’t get perfect), so I decided to have a little play and duplicate the menu item I used to love and order so much.
This recipe is mainly focused on the topping, but here is a recipe if you don’t know how to make pizza dough. You really want to make your own so you can get the nice oblong shape, as cutting this pizza with the fresh ingredients on top it is very hard to keep them on the slice with conventional pizza slices. The recipe is from a great website called Baking Mad, where they also have some great how to kitchen videos which I think are great for beginners, including how to make cupcakes and how to make pancakes. The only thing with this recipe is I would say cook at 200 degrees, not 180, and allow 15 minutes for cooking, not 8.
For the sauce, I like to use conventional passata (you’ll need about 1/2 a jar for two pizzas) out of the jar as it is easy, but to improve the flavour I like to gently fry a crushed garlic clove in a little olive oil, add the passata to the pan and season with salt and pepper, sweetening a little with a pinch of sugar if it is a little tart and seasoning with a sprinkling of dried oregano (the best thing ever with tomatoes).
Add the toppings once the pizza is cooked, but you can cook a little of the mozzarella on top if you prefer. Slice cherry tomatoes in half, tear basil and mozzarella, scrunch parma ham (the best bit!) and rince fresh rocket leaves before arranging on top of your cooked base before finishing with lots of freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of the best quality extra virgin olive oil you have available to you.
What are your favourite pizza toppings? And while we’re at it, do any of my Los Angeles readers have any pizza parlours in LA they want to recommend?
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