Monday, September 30, 2013

Recipe #244: Margherita Pizza

I think I found this recipe when drooling over, which linked to  I'm used to popping a frozen Digiorno in the oven without a second thought and 22 minutes later, having something somewhat, well, ok, for pizza.  Sometimes I'd try to be fancy and put fresh toppings on a Boboli crust with some pre-made pizza sauce.  This is the first time I've used dough (pre-made but still had to be baked), made my own sauce, and topped it with very fresh toppings, all at once.  Definitely worth the effort.  My notes are in red.


    For the Sauce
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 large onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano  (I only had dried)
    • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, sliced into ribbons, divided
    • 4 large roma tomatoes, chopped
    For the Pizza
    • 1 batch prepared whole grain pizza dough
    • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced  (Or more, especially if you keep eating it while prepping...)
    • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and pepper


    1. To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add in all remaining sauce ingredients, bring a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes have lost their shape and it begins to resemble a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.  (Straining the excess juice with a mesh strainer helped a lot- this helped prevent the crust from getting soggy)
    3. To prepare pizza, preheat oven to 475°. Spread the crust into a lightly-greased pizza pan and parbake for 10 minutes, or until the crust just begins to brown.  (I preheated my pizza stone for 20 minutes at 450 and then baked just the crust for 8 minutes, combining this recipe and the recommended cooking tips from the stone's manual)
    4. Remove from oven, spread on tomato sauce, layer on the cheese slices and half the basil ribbons, then drizzle with the olive.  (All of the basil went on at this point....)
    5. Continue baking in oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and melty. During the last 2-3 minutes of baking, slide the pizza off the pan and directly onto the oven rack for a crispier crust, if desired. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining basil ribbons and season with salt and pepper.  (I didn't bother putting the pizza directly on the rack.  The pizza stone made it the perfect crispness)

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