200ml Cold water
300g ‘00’ flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
3.5g Fast action dried yeast
1tsp Fine sea salt
1tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Celery stick, finely chopped
½ Carrot, finely chopped
1tsp Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
800g Canned whole plum tomatoes
1tsp Sugar (optional)
A few stalks of Tuscan kale or curly kale
2tbsp Olive oil
250g Grated mozzarella
100g Pancetta, either thinly sliced or cut into lardons
4tbsp Finely grated Parmesan
4tbsp Chilli oil
Fine sea salt and freshly
One of the best things about working from the Ballymaloe Cookery School is being able to source fresh produce from our own 100-acre organic farm. It’s an incredible luxury to be able to choose ingredients from whatever is ripe and ready to be harvested. Tuscan kale is one of the vegetables that thrives almost all year round in the glasshouses. Also called cavolo nero, do snap some up when you see it. Regular curly kale works on this pizza too, but needs a bit longer in the oven to wilt down.
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9 or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook.
- Cut the kale away from the tough ribs, then chop the tender leaves into bite-sized pieces or slice them into even-sized shreds. Place the kale in a bowl, drizzle with half of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine using your hands, until the kale is coated with the oil. This adds extra flavour and also helps protect the kale from the heat of the oven so that it doesn’t burn.
- Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush to help it turn golden.
- Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the centre of the dough. Spread it over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 2.5cm (1 in) border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce.
- Place a handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Use your palm to spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Scatter the pancetta on top of the cheese, aiming to get a good balance of ingredients across the pizza.
- Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won’t slide off. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn’t, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does move easily.
- Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. After 4-5 minutes, take it out and scatter the kale evenly across the top. Return the pizza to the oven for about 3-5 minutes more, until the kale has just started to wilt (curly kale needs to cook a little longer than Tuscan kale). You want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden and the cheese should be melted.
- Remove from the oven again, transfer to a wire cooling rack, then sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and drizzle with chilli oil. Allow to stand for 1 minute before cutting into slices.
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