Pizza Margherita


Is there anything more beautiful than the colors of a margherita pizza? I think this is easily the prettiest pizza I've ever made. It also tasted pretty damn good too. We found ourselves grabbing for slice after slice, yet it never felt heavy because of how refreshing this tomato sauce was. 

While we used our go-to dough recipe from Dinner: A Love Story for the crust, the sauce comes from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. It's so simple, but it proves that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. 

Just a note: Between the simple uncooked tomato sauce and the fresh mozzarella we used, our pizza looked very wet in the oven (we're talking puddles of water), but like magic, the water cooked off at the end, and the pizza turned out perfect. So have faith and try not to fret and open your oven every 5 seconds like me, and you will end up with a perfect margherita pizza.

Pizza Margherita

(Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)

  • 1/3 cup pureed and strained tomatoes, or 1/2 cup whole tomatoes in juices, blended until mostly smooth
  • Salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Few drops red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • One 3/4 pound pizza dough dough, ready to use
  • 4-5 oz mozzarella, grated, torn, or very thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn into bits
  • Handful finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano to finish

  1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it'll go. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment (this is the easiest way we've found to prevent pizza from sticking) and set aside. 
  2. In a small bowl, stir together tomatoes, a couple pinches of salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes, the minced garlic, a couple of drops of red wine vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  3. Stretch your pizza dough out to fill your prepared baking sheet. Spread dough with tomatoes, leaving a small margin at the edges, and layer on the mozzarella. 
  4. Bake pizza for 7-11 minutes, until bubbly and a bit brown on top. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with basil and Parmesan/Romano. Serve hot right in the pan. 

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