Fatto a Mano on the Friday night we were there was bursting at the seems with people. It was a riot of smiles, noise, fun and great food.

It was a lovely evening in Hove with the hazy sun in Church Road creating a blissful scene for that end-of-the-week feeling of joy.

As soon as we walked in we could feel how busy they were on all levels of the restaurant.

But the staff were the perfect example of how to make a bustling room feel calm and relaxed.

It is a big place but the way it is split off into different areas keeps it feeling cosy somehow.

I was here to try the Margherita Sbagliata special.

Until June 2 the Neapolitan pizza restaurant is joining forces with Master Pizzaiolo Franco Pepe to introduce his signature “world’s best pizza” to the UK for the first time.

Raising money for Italian charity La Scugnizzeria, the limited edition collaboration sees the Naples chef – known as one of the stars of Netflix’s popular Chef’s Table: Pizza series – share the recipe for his internationally revered pizza at Fatto’s five restaurants across London and Brighton and Hove.

Franco earned the title of World’s Best Pizza Chef for three consecutive years at the Best Chef Awards in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Translated as “mistaken margherita”, Pepe’s celebrated Margherita Sbagliata was named the Best Pizza in the World from 2016 to 2018.

He uses ingredients from the Alto Casertano area, which is home to many of the small-scale producers who supply Fatto a Mano.

So how good is this £16 pizza?

It’s absolutely wonderful.

It’s a margherita - the classic cheese and tomato with basil. But it is special. It has a sumptuous fancy passata alongside a gorgeous basil oil.

Cooked for just 90 seconds, the dough is as soft and pillowy as promised. It just tastes so fresh and is perfect straight out of that huge pizza oven that you can see, with the fire blazing away in the corner of the restaurant, teams of pizza

makers working away like workmen at a furnace.

Here are the nerdy details: this pizza uses Fatto’s signature pizza dough made with Italian 00 flour, and proven for 24 hours, topped with Franco’s unconventional take on a classic margherita.

The Margherita Sbagliata sees the dough layered with buffalo and fior di latte mozzarella from long-time Fatto a Mano’s suppliers Lattai Ponticorvo, a dairy located just a few miles from Franco Pepe’s revered restaurant Pepe in Grani, along with Lorenzo extra virgin olive oil from the centuries old Sicilian family dynasty, Barbera, in Sicily.

The pizza is then baked for no longer than 90 seconds, before Franco Pepe’s riccio (curly) tomato passata is added. Made from an ancient variety grown exclusively for Pepe in his home city of Caiazzo, the passata is added uncooked to preserve its natural flavour, and piped in geometric lines alongside dots of the basil oil.

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For each pizza sold, £1.50 will be donated to La Scugnizzeria, a charity centre in Scampia, Italy, providing local children with the opportunity to learn essential skills, from theatre and photography workshops to the art of pizza-making.

This special has a competitor for best pizza according to one of our young fellow diners though, he said Fatto’s standard margherita was the best he’d ever had. And he loves pizza almost as much as I love pizza with beer.

By the way, their Fatto Bionda, Helles Lager, provided a marriage made in heaven.

Fatto’s nduja pizza is good too, with spicy salami, roasted peppers, mozzarella, parmesan, and basil.

We also liked the Norma, with tomato, fried aubergine, ricotta, smoked ricotta, mozzarella and basil.

By the way the starters and desserts are lovely too. The cherry tomatoes on the bruschetta classica were awesome.

If you want to learn how to make the restuarant’s soft and pillowy pizza at home then there is a charity masterclass on Monday and Tuesday next week, May 20 and 21.

You will get to make the Margherita Sbagliata.

The classes run from 7pm to 9pm at Fatto a Mano’s Central Production Kitchen (3-4 Circus Parade, Brighton BN1 4GW).

Guests will learn about the restaurant’s dough production process, make dough balls for proving, shape their own pizza bases and cover them in topping, before cooking and enjoying their pizza.

They will also be served drinks throughout the evening (alcoholic and soft) and receive a goodie bag to take away.

Tickets are available at https://url.uk.m.mimecastprotect.com/s/p34WCp8DDInM3ZljFYd8Wq/ and are £40 per person, with all money taken donated to Italian children’s charity La Scugnizzeria.