Meat Free Monday: Margherita Pizza

by Deena on December 12, 2010

So this recipe came about after years of tweaking various other recipes found in cookbooks and on the internet.

My husband, (who was not my husband at the time) took me to Bertuccis one night prior to heading out for drinks with friends.  And he suggested we order the Margherita Pizza; at the time I thought that unless the “margarita” came frozen in a glass with salt that it couldn’t possibly be worth consuming.

Needless to say, I was wrong and thus began my instant love affair with Margherita Pizzas.

Margherita Pizza

Dough:

So I’ll admit it… I cheat on the pizza dough. I have made pizza dough from scratch a few times but on a Monday night after a full day’s work it just seems so much easier to just take out the frozen pizza dough that you can find in your local grocery store. I purchase mine from the local Whole Foods. (Just remember that you’ll need to thaw it and let it rise prior to using – cover with olive oil and leave on the counter for a few hours –  it’s easier to work with at room temperature).  Then you just roll it out and place it on your pizza stone or baking sheet

Sauce:

1 (14.5 oz) can organic whole tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt
6 ounces fresh mozzarella  (I use BelGioiosio which is mozzarella balls packed in water)

Instructions:

  1. Puree the organic whole tomatoes (including their  juice) in a blender.
  2. Cook crushed garlic in oil in a small pan over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Chop 4-5  fresh basil leaves into small pieces.
  4. Add tomato puree, chopped basil, sugar, and a pinch of salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 40 minutes.  Let the sauce cool slightly.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce onto your pizza dough.
  6. Slice your mozzarella into about 1/4 inch thick slices and place over top of your tomato sauce.
  7. Bake at 350 until dough is  browned and cheese starts to bubble , approximately 15 – 18  minutes.
  8. Slice remaining basil into slivers and sprinkle  over pizza once it is out of the oven (to your taste).
Note: Since I admitted I cheat on the dough I probably should also mention that often I will make the sauce the night before and then just put the pizza together the next day for dinner.
Happy Eating!
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Iyandel August 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

You need some sort of leavening. Baking pwoder can be substituted with other pantry ingredients. Keeping in mind that a chemical rise dough is a biscuit dough (like UNO thick crust). You can make a biscuit dough with baking soda and cream of tartar or baking soda and buttermilk.If you have none of these, then all you can make is a unleavened bread and it is not the best base for a pizza but it can be done. Here’s what to do if you do not have the aboveMake the dough as you would for pizza but with twice the oil.Roll out unleavened dough very thin, (1/8 ) to make a cracker type crust, no larger than a dinner plate, for strength, since they’re thin.. Prick the crust all over with a fork, lay out on an oiled cookie sheet with cornmeal to stop sticking.Precook a little in a 300degree oven til set but not brown,Cover with toppings and bake in a 400F oven til toppings are brown.

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