Pizza Giardinera

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Paul Ainsworth keeps things simple with this Pizza Giardinera recipe, using just a few vegetarian ingredients to top the pizza. If you want to make your own pizza dough, Paul recommends keeping thin and light.

First published in 2015





Tomato sauce


For the tomato sauce, place a heavy-based pan over 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
Next, add the garlic, turn the heat up to high and cook for a few minutes, while stirring. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce by half. Then add the tomatoes, tomato purée and 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. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using
Preheat the oven to 240˚C/gas mark 9. Prepare the pizza base and add a thin layer of the tomato sauce leaving a 2-3cm gap around the crust. Arrange the artichoke, tomato, mushroom, olives and mozzarella evenly on top of the pizza
If you have access to a wood fired oven the pizza will cook in 3-4 minutes at 365°C, otherwise place in the 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, dry oregano, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil
First published in 2015

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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