This goat's cheese pizza recipe from Paul Ainsworth is a favourite at his laid-back Italian restaurant, Rojano's in the Square. If you have the time do make your own dough as it makes all the difference.
Southampton-born Paul Ainsworth got his break courtesy of Gary Rhodes, whom he worked for three years. After that, he moved to Gordon Ramsay's organisation, working first at his flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant and then with Marcus Wareing at Petrus.
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For the tomato sauce, place a heavy-based pan on a medium heat. Add the olive oil and once hot, add the onion, celery, carrot and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tbsp of parsley
Next, add the garlic, turn up heat up to full and cook for a few minutes, while stirring. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce by half. Then add the tomatoes, tomato purée and oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Season well with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, uncovered until the sauce thickens and concentrates in flavour. Finish with the basil, check the seasoning and adjust accordingly before removing from the heat. Leave to to cool before using
2 tbsp of basil, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 240˚C/gas mark 9. Prepare the pizza base and add a thin layer of the tomato sauce leaving a gap of 2-3cm at the crust. Arrange the olives, goat's cheese, mozzarella and roquito peppers evenly around the pizza
1 pizza base
5 green olives, marinated
50g of goat's cheese
5 roquito peppers
60g of buffalo mozzarella
If you have access to a wood fired oven the pizza will cook in 3-4 minutes at 365˚C, otherwise place in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is just bubbling and the base is crispy
Remove the pizza from the oven and finish with the baby spinach, oregano, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately
2 2/3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1 pinch of oregano
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