1. The Original Pizza

La Marinara

The original pizza was invented by a backstreet Neapolitan baker, though sadly his name has gone unrecorded and has been forgotten. One shivers to think of what he could have become had he patented his invention - pizza is the fastest selling fast food in the world, even beating hamburgers - but such is life! The first pizza ever baked had a topping of tomato, garlic and dried oregano, plus salt and pepper. Some people claim that fresh basil was added too, but I somehow doubt it. This was, and still is, Pizza Marinara. Despite its name it has nothing whatsoever to do with seashores or marine life!


  • about 8 tablespoons passata
  • 2 large pinches dried oregano
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).

Spread the passata all over the pizza, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) space around the edges.

Scatter the dried oregano, garlic and basil (if using) all over the tomato. Sprinkle with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust around the edge of the pizza is crisp and cooked through.