Nothing says Naples to me like a margherita pizza. So here is my version of the classic I grew up eating in piazzas in Italy.
Recipe courtesy of Laura Vitale
Show: Simply Laura
Episode: Papa's Pizza
Print
Total:
2 hr 40 min
Active:
40 min
Yield:
2 to 4 servings
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
2 hr 40 min
Active:
40 min
Yield:
2 to 4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Laura's Basic Pizza Dough:
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar 
  • One 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 
  • 3 teaspoons salt 
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups Italian 00 flour or, if you can't get your hands on it, regular all-purpose flour will do 
Margherita Pizza:
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless strained tomatoes, such as San Marzano variety (see Cook's Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
  • Pinch kosher salt 
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging 
  • Semolina, for dusting 
  • One 6-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, such as buffalo mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick and then torn 
  • Dried oregano 
  • 6 to 12 fresh basil leaves 

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Special equipment: a pizza stone and pizza peel or 2 baking sheets

For the pizza dough: Add the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast; set aside so the yeast can proof.

Oil two bowls with a little olive oil and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, mix together the olive oil, salt, 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Stir the yeast in the water to make sure it's all dissolved and add it to the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until everything is combined. Increase the speed to medium and allow the machine to knead the dough, adding more flour if necessary, until it is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl, 6 to 7 minutes.

Divide the dough in two pieces and roll each into a ball. Place a ball in each of the oiled bowls seam-side down, and brush the tops with a little oil to stop them from drying out. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (inside a microwave or a turned-off oven works best) until it doubles in size and when poked with a finger, the indent remains (it doesn't spring back), about 1 1/2 hours.

For the margherita pizza: Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. If you don't have a pizza stone you can use a large baking sheet turned upside down.

In a small bowl, mix together the strained tomatoes, olive oil and salt; set aside.

Sprinkle some flour onto your counter. Take the remaining ball of dough and dredge it in the flour on all sides. (Reserve the remaining ball for another use; store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.) Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch circle and place it on a semolina-dusted pizza peel or an upside down baking sheet. Ladle on your tomato sauce.

Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the crust is cooked and beginning to brown slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, scatter your fresh mozzarella over the top and pop it back in until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over a pinch of dried oregano, scatter the basil leaves and drizzle with a touch of olive oil.

Cook's Note

You can use store-bought pizza dough instead of homemade. If you can't find the San Marzano variety of strained tomatoes, you can use San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes and puree them in a food mill or food processor.

Trending Videos 6 Videos

Step-by-step photos

Steak Essentials 03:26

Everything you need to know to select and grill a perfect steak.

Similar Topics:

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Margherita Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Neal Corman

Margherita Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Grace Choi

Margherita Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Neal Corman

Margherita Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

On TV

Food's Greatest Hits

7:30am | 6:30c

Food's Greatest Hits

8:30am | 7:30c

Food's Greatest Hits

9:30am | 8:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

10:30am | 9:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

11:30am | 10:30c

Good Eats

12pm | 11c

Good Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Good Eats

1pm | 12c

Good Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

5:30pm | 4:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

8pm | 7c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

8:30pm | 7:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

9:30pm | 8:30c

Cheap Eats

10pm | 9c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

12:30am | 11:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

1:30am | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2am | 1c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c

So Much Pretty Food Here