November 4, 2013

In the Kitchen: Margherita Pizza

I was pleasantly surprised Saturday morning when I found fresh basil and cherry tomatoes at the Farmer's Market. I thought I wouldn't enjoy another Margherita Pizza for many months, but we whipped up this classic pizza for a simple dinner recently and it was a great end to a long day. We use our Fresh pizza dough recipe and top it with an easy marinara sauce and fresh local tomatoes. This may be the last of basil and tomatoes for a while, so if you see them at your market keep this pizza in mind. 

Margherita Pizza 

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon fresh thyme 
1 teaspoon fresh oregano 
1 bunch fresh basil 
1 8-ounce ball mozzarella 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced 


Place baking stone in oven and preheat oven to 550 degrees. 

Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once heated, add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Once simmering, lower heat simmer covered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and add fresh herbs. 

Begin to roll out the dough so that it is slightly smaller than baking stone and about 1/4 inch think. Once your dough is the correct size and thickness place it on a pizza paddle. Slide the dough onto the baking stone and blind bake for 1-2 minutes until the dough starts to puff up and harden a little. You are only trying to cook the crust so that the pizza does not get soggy. 

Remove crust from oven and begin to ladle marinara sauce onto pizza. The amount of sauce you use is up to your discretion; I like a saucier pizza so we use between 1/2 and 1 cup. Tear mozzarella with your hands and make an even layer covering the pizza. Top with sliced tomatoes and put back in the oven to cook until cheese is browned and melted, about 5 minutes. All to cool slightly and top with fresh basil. 

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