Recipe: Margherita Pizza, Roman style »

From I Heart Rome by Maria Pasquale

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Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza [©Smith Street Books ]

<i>I Heart Rome</i> By Maria Pasquale


I Heart Rome by Maria Pasquale uncovers the authentic city and its recipes that she's discovered since moving there from Australia.

This recipe is from her friend, Alice Kiandra Adams.


Margherita Pizza

Ingredients (makes 4 pizzas):

  • 1 quantity basic pizza dough (see below)
  • 1 quantity basic tomato sauce (see below)
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • basil leaves, to garnish



Preheat the oven to 240°C (465°F).

Top each pizza with the tomato sauce, then the mozzarella.

Bake for 10–15 minutes, until the dough starts turning lightly golden.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve.


Basic Pizza Dough and Tomato Sauce: 

Basic Pizza Dough

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 400 ml (13½ fl oz) tepid water
  • extra virgin olive oil, for greasing


Basic Pizza sauce

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried oregano or shredded basil


To make the dough, sift the flour into a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the yeast, salt and sugar. Pour in the water and, if you are using a mixer, start to mix using the dough hook. If working by hand, start mixing with a fork, then use your hands to start bringing the ingredients together. If the dough is too wet, add a little extra flour.

When the dough is well mixed, turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead gently to form a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap to stop the dough sticking when it rises.

The dough should take about 2 hours to rise. If the weather is warm it will rise easily; if it is cold, leave it in a warm spot near the oven or over a heater.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and knead gently. Divide the dough into four portions. Cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) and leave to rest while you prepare the toppings.

Preheat the oven to 240°C (465°F).

Each piece of dough can be rolled or hand stretched, depending on your preferred base. Rolling will create a thinner crust, while pulling the dough into shape by hand will maintain the air pockets and create a thicker crust.

Mix the passata and olive oil together in a small bowl. Add the herbs and a pinch of salt. Spread over the pizza bases, leaving a 2 cm (¾ inch) border around the edge.

Add your chosen toppings and bake for 10–15 minutes, until the dough starts turning lightly golden.


Note: Alice Kiandra Adams is a good friend, fellow Melbourne girl, and has been living in Rome for over a decade. She is an extremely talented cook and food stylist and worked on this book with me. She was given this recipe by the father of one of her Roman friends, who was a baker in Trastevere for many years. She says he still directs the pizza-making at family get togethers in the countryside where they have a wood-fired oven, the key to wonderful pizza.

This is a very basic recipe, with easy-to-use dried yeast and a rising time of only 2 hours.


This recipe reproduced with kind permission of the publisher. See links below for more information and recipes.

I Heart Rome  recipes & stories from the Eternal City by Maria Pasquale is published by Smith Street Books (Melb,Oct 2017; Hb; 264pp; RRP A$49.99) and is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Simon & Schuster.

It is available in good bookshops and can be purchased online via »



  • Italy - all (IT)

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