Margherita Pizza – Simple and Delicious

Eric wanted a Margherita Pizza and Lily wanted a Ham Pizza this week.  I miss making different pizzas on Fridays.  Lately we have been making the typical cheese and sausage pizzas on Fridays.  I didn’t think the Margherita Pizza was much different from a cheese pizza but it definitely was.  What a simple and delicious change from our usual Friday night pizzas.  I checked out all the different pizzas I have done throughout the years on my blog this morning.  I think I need to take an idea from my blog each week. Unbelievable how many different pizzas I have done through the years.

Here is the recipe to the one I made last night;

Margherita Pizza

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Ingredients

Pizza dough

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina, for the pizza peel

If you don’t want to make your own dough you can buy it at the store.  I make my own dough each Thursday evening.  I put all the ingredients in my food processor and mix until a ball forms.  Food processors are the best invention, ever!

Directions

  1.  Place above ingredients in food processor (or stand up mixer or bowl and mix by hand.). Mix until ball forms or knead into a ball.
  2. Put teaspoon of olive oil on counter.  Place dough on counter and form into ball.  Spray plastic bag or bowl with cooking spray.  Place ball of dough in bag and place in fridge.  If you are planning on making that day place in bowl sprayed with cooking oil, cover and let rise 2 hours. Be sure to place bowl in warm place. If you decide to put in fridge take out a 2-3 hours before you want to use it.

Ingredients for Pizza Topping

  • 1 cup pureed or crushed San Marzano (or Italian plum) canned tomatoes
  • 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (I use my microplane)
  • 7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (fresh mozzarella NOT packed in water)
  • 5 – 6 large fresh basil leaves, (I chopped the leaves, you can break up by hand too.) Plus more for garnish
  • Crushed dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 550 degrees or as high as your oven can go.  Some can’t go that high. Be sure your pizza stone is in the oven getting nice and hot.
  2. Mix together the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. I use a pizza peel.  I place a piece of parchment paper on the peel and spread some semolina flour or corn meal on it.  You can use all purpose flour too.  If you don’t have a pizza peel, improvise. You could use a larger flat cookie sheet or back of cookie sheet. Advice – buy parchment paper.  It is a life saver!
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the dough.  Brush olive oil all over the pizza dough.
  5. Spread tomato sauce over dough.  (I used about 3/4 of a cup.)
  6. Place the mozzarella cheese on pizza.
  7. Add the shredded basil.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes.  Longer, if baking at a lower temperature.
  9. Take out of oven.  You could add more basil, parmesan cheese or crushed red pepper to your delicious piece of pizza if you like.

ENJOY!