It is late August and I suddenly find myself with an overabundance of tomatoes and basil in my garden. Trying to figure out something fun to do with them I decided to make a homemade Pizza Margherita. I was so blown away by the simplicity of this recipe and yet how incredibly delicious it came out that I had to share it.
Now the key to
this entire pizza is using the freshest possible ingredients you can
find. If you do not have tomatoes or basil growing in your garden then
perhaps check out a local farmers market. I truly believe what made
this pizza so delicious was the freshness of the sweet Roma’s combined
with fresh basil and the homemade dough. And I will only guarantee the
true deliciousness factor if you promise to find the freshest
ingredients you can get your hands on.
I am also a big fan of using quality salts in my cooking thanks to the folks at The Meadow in Portland for aiding in my salt obsession, so the salts I used both in the sauce and on the dough were of excellent quality.
- Pizza dough: your favorite homemade dough, or store-bought (I use homemade just because it’s so easy to make and you control what kind of flour and additional ingredients go into it)
- Nice rock salt (or sea salt)
- Tomato sauce (recipe below)
- Approx 15 basil leaves
- 1 tub fresh Mozzarella in water (approx 2 large Mozzarella balls), sliced thin
For the sauce:
- Approx 8 small fresh Roma Tomatoes (make sure they are as fresh as can be), chopped
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 lg clove of garlic, crushed or diced very small
- 1 pinch of sugar (approx ½ tablespoon)
- 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes (approx ½ teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Quality salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
To make the sauce:
Coat the bottom of a small sauce pan with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon), then add all of the ingredients and let heat up. Once the sauce has come to a boil, lower the temperature and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened up. Make sure to stir the sauce every few minutes.
*Note: The skins from the tomatoes will eventually fall off the meat of the tomatoes. I removed a few of the large skins. The rest just integrated into the sauce.
To make the pizza:
Insert Pizza Stone into the stove (I use a Pizza Stone when cooking pizza in my oven. It helps cook the pizza thoroughly)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Pizza Stones work best when they heat up with the oven and not put into the hot oven cold)
out the dough pretty thin (about ¼ inch thick). I roll my dough onto a
wooden pizza board sprinkled with coarse corn meal to help make for
easy transfer into the oven.
Sprinkle the dough lightly with rock salt (or another thick salt like sea salt). This is key as it adds nice depth of flavor to the actual dough.
Layer the dough with the sauce, basil leaves, and mozzarella cheese.
Transfer to Pizza Stone in oven and cook for approx 15 minutes, or until the cheese is well melted.
Remove from oven, slice up, and enjoy!
Now it's your turn. Make this pizza and try telling me it’s not the greatest Pizza Margherita you’ve ever had! I dare you. While you're at it, let me know what wine you would pair with it. I will let you know what I paired it with soon... but I am guessing you will never nail it!