The secret to a good pizza is in the flavour combinations! Try this gourmet creation.


  • Pizza base

  • Either one you have lovingly made yourself or something bought. Just ensure you have a perforated pizza tray that can heat from the bottom.

  • Merlot paste

  • 1kg of Merlot grapes – stems removed, washed

  • 1-2 x 500gm bags of jam setting sugar (depending on consistency)

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • Parmesan: just a sprinkling over the Merlot paste

  • Lamb: previously cooked and thinly sliced

  • Mushrooms in verjuice (refer to method)

  • Ricotta: just a few strategic dollops

  • 4 cheese mix: generous but not to smother


  • For the Merlot Paste:

  • 1.

    Using typical jam making process, heat to boil a large saucepan of merlot grapes – boil them until they are soft and the skins almost fall away.

  • 2.

    Strain the juice and then sieve the pulp – the more pulp the better. Discard the seeds and the skins.

  • 3.

    Bring to the boil the juice and pulp, and add in the jam setting sugar and lemon juice. Simmer until setting or almost setting.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile sterilise around 6- 8 jars and decant jam/paste mixture.

  • For the Mushrooms in Verjuice:

  • 1.

    Cut into approx 5mm slices and cook in nut brown butter. Once browned, throw in a generous dash of Verjuice to finish.

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    Apply the Merlot Paste to the base and add toppings as you desire.

  • 2.

    Pop in the oven and once cheese is golden, it's ready.

  • 3.

    Garnish with rocket after the cooking, to complete the dish.


To experience all things Italian, head to and find out about 'A Little Bit of Italy' - an Italian food and cultural festival in the Hunter Valley, from April 11-12.

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