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Dish Of The Day: Margherita Pizza

Dish of the day: margherita pizza

Hands down, nothing beats a traditional margherita pizza when it's done well. It's simple, fired to perfection and sprinkled with delicious Italian herbs – uncomplicated, unpretentious, and unbeatable.

Hailing from the streets of Naples, pizza has become a firm favourite around the world. There's nothing more satisfying than filling up on a large classic from Carluccio's, devouring an 8-slice Italian masterpiece from Mamma Italia or sharing one of Pizzaro's margheritas with friends.

An Italian classic

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Ingredients wise, margheritas are as stripped back as you can get. It's the freshness, flavours and passion behind the cooking that make this Italian classic so enticing and unique.

Soft pizza dough, kneaded until light and airy, is hand-tossed until it's almost thin enough to see through. It's generously coated in rich Italian pizza sauce made from juicy vine tomatoes. Then there's a great big burst of Italian basil. Black pepper to add a kick. Lashings of fresh mozzarella fiore de latte or mozzarella di bufala campana.  And a drizzle of olive oil to round it off.

It's baked in an extremely hot oven – till the cheese melts and crisps – and served up still slightly soft in the centre.

A right royal affair

And it's not only us common folk that love a good old margherita.

Supposedly, margherita pizza is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy. Raffaele Esposito, a famous baker, created the pizza for her in 1889 during her royal tour of Italy with King Umberto I – and she likened its colourful ingredients to the red, green and white of the Italian flag.

But folktales aside, evidence suggests that the recipe for the Margherita dates further back – as far back as 1866 in fact, where a similar recipe of tomatoes, basil and thinly sliced mozzarella can be found in the book Customs and Traditions of Naples.

Whatever its history, the Margherita was made famous by Esposito and he was supposedly the first chef to add cheese to pizza, which means that we should all bow down to his greatness anyway. What's pizza without some mozzarella on it, anyway?

How do you like yours?

With margherita pizza, it's not about delivering a different twist to make it special. It's about using only the finest ingredients to make sure every single part of the pizza is spot on.

Carluccio's keep it straightforward with a tangy tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and chopped basil. They use the best of the best, and that's all that's needed. Pizzaro swap out the basil for chopped oregano instead, and add a good glug of extra-virgin olive oil to round it off.

At Mamma Italia, they use mozzarella fior de latte, a semi-soft cheese made from cow's milk. The texture of the cheese blends beautifully with the thick tomato sauce and basil – and has that characteristic stretch when you cut out a slice.

Keep it simple with Italian classics. Get margherita pizza delivered straight to your door, here on Deliveroo.

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