Recipe: the perfect pizza


Nothing like that which arrives on a moped, this is the genuine Neapolitan version, as recorded by that perfectionist, Elizabeth David, in 1954, when the dish’s world domination hadn’t even begun.

For the dough

¼lb plain flour

Scant ¼oz baker’s yeast

Tepid water


For the topping

4?5 tomatoes, skinned

and coarsely chopped

6 anchovy fillets

Oregano or basil

3oz mozzarella

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Dissolve yeast in a little tepid water, adding a teaspoon of salt. Blend in the flour. Add enough water, about 1/8pint, to make a stiff dough. Knead until it is light and elastic. Make a ball, put it into a basin covered with a cloth and leave it, in a warm place, to rise until it is about double?up to 2?2 ½ hours. Roll into a large disc about ¼inch thick (or two smaller). Spread tomatoes on the base, season and add anchovy fillet halves at random, then top with cheese cut into small, thin slices. Sprinkle oregano or basil on top and moisten with olive oil. Oil a shallow baking dish, large enough for the pizza to expand during cooking, and cook it in a hot oven for 20?30 minutes.

Its freshness and flavour is a million miles from pizza to go.