For the perfect communal picnic dish, try south London chef Guy Awford’s interesting take on a pizza…

I first cooked Rotolo di Pizza Ripieno at Toto, an Italian restaurant in Auckland just up the road from a TV studio. All summer the deli counter would be inundated with media types jostling to buy a piece of ripieno and some antipasto to take to the park for lunch. It’s an ideal picnic food – easy to transport, bags of flavour and very simple to make.

Rotolo di Pizza Ripieno is essentially rolled and stuffed pizza. The filling can be whatever takes your fancy, but avoid buffalo mozzarella – it’s very wet and can cause soggy dough. Use a firmer cow’s mozzarella or a smoked provolone. Here, I have used cow’s mozzarella with roasted red peppers, roasted red onions, spinach and basil. Just before cooking brush the top with olive oil, then sprinkle on coarse salt, chopped herbs and garlic to add flavour and texture to the crust.

Making your own pizza dough is surprisingly simple. Whisk a teaspoon of dried yeast and a tablespoon of sugar into 330ml of lukewarm water. Stir this into 600g of strong white flour, adding 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Knead until smooth, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm spot to prove. When it has doubled in size, knock back and proof for a second time. Simple!

Print Rotolo di Pizza Ripieno

Rotolo di Pizza Ripieno is essentially rolled and stuffed pizza

Prep Time 40 Cook Time 30 Serves 4


Pizza dough
250g tomato sauce
2 roasted red peppers – peeled, seeds removed, sliced
2 red onions – peeled, sliced & roasted
250g cow’s mozzarella – torn into pieces
250g washed spinach – cooked in garlic oil, seasoned & squeezed dry
50g grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic – chopped
A few pinches of chopped thyme & rosemary
Maldon salt
Olive oil
Roll out your dough into a rectangle and smear sparingly with the tomato sauce (you may not need it all), leaving a border of about an inch all around it
Scatter over the roast peppers, onions, spinach, Parmesan & mozzarella
Roll the dough up as you would a roulade. Bring in the ends to form a circle
Place on a non-stick baking tray
Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°C
Brush with olive oil & sprinkle with salt flakes, rosemary, thyme & garlic
Bake for 30 minutes. The top should be lovely and golden
Allow to cool before wrapping and packing into a picnic basket
Serve with a selection of delicious antipasto

By Guy Awford

 Guy Awford is chef-patron of, and

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