The Pizza Margherita

2017/10/28 Posted by

All things have origin, their source. Surely “Pizza Marghareta” is not an exception.That story begins in 1889, when Queen Margherita and her husband,Humbert I, took an examination tour in Italy.During the travels around Italy Margherita saw many people, especially the peasants, eating the large, flat bread. Rummy, the queen commanded her servants to bring her one of these Pizza breads. The Queen loved the bread and would eat it every time she was out amongst the people, which motived some distress in Court circles. It wasn’t suitable for a Queen to eat on peasant’s food… However, the queen loved the bread and wanted to take matters into her own hands. Summoning Chef Rafaelle Esposito from his pizzeria to the royal palace, the queen ordered him to bake a various of pizzas for her delight. To respect the queen who was so beloved by her patients, Rafaelle started to bake an exceptional pizza personally for her. He baked a Pizza topped with tomatoes, Mozarella Cheese, and fresh Basil. This became Queen Margherita’s favorite pizza and when word spread that this was one of the queen’s favorite foods, she became more popular with the Italian people. She also started a culinary tradition, the Pizza Margherita, which lasts to this very day in Naples and has now spread throughout the world. Nowadays, pizza is popular everywhere. Spaniards, Japaneses, Russians, Americans, Briton,etc. All of of them adore pizza.

Method:

  1. Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with atea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.
  2. Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and crushed garlic together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base.
  3. Roll out the dough: If you’ve let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets.
  4. Top and bake: Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C /gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

 

The pizza Margherita is just over a century old and is named after HM Queen Margherita of Italy, wife of King Umberto I and first Queen of Italy. It’s made using toppings of tomato, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, which represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag.

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