Nick Ridisi, of Amici Ristorante in East Parade, Keighley, pens the latest of his regular articles about authentic Italian cuisine

BEING a pizzeria, pizza is one of the things we do well, or so we are told.

There’s no real secret, it’s all in the ingredients, the method and the oven. Get those things right and you’ve got yourself a winning recipe.

It will be hard to recreate an Amici pizza in your kitchen as we have a wood-burning oven and I doubt any of you will have one, hats off to you if you do. The burning wood adds flavour to the pizza but if you get the other two parts right then it will be just as nice from your electric ovens.

The quality of the ingredients when making a pizza is very important. If you scrimp on the cost, you scrimp on the taste, it’s that simple.

The flour needs to be high quality ‘00’ flour for the light, fluffy, crisp base, the tomatoes need to be rich and flavoursome, not full of water, and the mozzarella needs to be 100 per cent mozzarella.

I learned how to make pizzas about eight years ago, but Luciano who is my mentor has been making them for over 17 years, so he’s quite a dab hand at it and makes it looks easy.

He is the method we used to make pizza:

There are two ways that you can make a pizza, either in a tray which makes the base more like a deep pan pizza or round like your traditional thin crust pizza. I’ll explain both ways.

• To make the sauce is really easy, empty the passata into a bowl, add the basil, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix.

• For an extra tasty option you can add some crushed garlic to the mixture.

o Once the dough has been left to rise for an hour use a rolling pin to either make into round pizza shapes or to fit the shape of your baking tray.

o For the tray method grease down the base with some olive oil before adding the dough and press it into the corners of the tray.

o For the round pizzas once you’ve made the round shape, place it on top of a baking sheet so you can transfer it to the oven easier.

• Now would be a good time to pre heat your oven to around 220°c.

• And finally the best bit, spoon your sauce onto the pizza bases, sprinkle the mozzarella on top (you don’t need as much as you think here!) then add any other toppings you desire.

• Place the pizzas in the oven. Put the pizzas with the baking sheets onto a flat surface, either an upturned baking tray or a flat shelf, and cook for around 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has gone golden.

• Sprinkle with some olive oil, basil and parmesan if required and enjoy the taste of Naples in your own home.