With all the fancy food I cook, sometimes I want something simple.
Margherita pizza is one of my favorite simple foods. With my pizza steel and dough, I can have a pie ready in less than 15 minutes.
Over the years, I’ve tried many different tomato sauces and below is one of my favorites.
All you need to do is combine the ingredients and put in a food processor before spreading on the dough.
- 14-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
- 3-4 large garlic cloves
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-5 basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
For the dough, I used my bread machine. If you don’t want to make it from scratch I like Trader Joe’s white and whole wheat doughs. They only cost about $1 and taste pretty good. Sometimes I cheat and buy these.
I posted a video of me making the pizza below. It starts with the dough ball and goes through the end of baking!
To prepare the margherita pizza
- Preheat your baking steel for at least 45 min at 500 degrees.
- Roll out the dough and season with garlic-olive oil.
- Prebake the crust on the baking steel without toppings until it has a slight browning of the crust. (Prebaking the crust ensures a crunchy crust like you would get in a good pizzeria.)
- After it browns a bit and gets puffy, I remove it from the oven using my peel and then top with the tomato sauce and cheese.
- Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes and watch to ensure cheese doesn’t burn or crust doesn’t get too dark
- add the basil in about 30 seconds to a minute before the pizza looks like it will be done.
- You can tell the pizza is about ready when
- the crust starts to turn dark brown
- the cheese starts to turn dark brown
- The longer the steel is in the oven, the quicker your pizzas will finish. For me I usually prebake for 3-4 minutes and after sauce/toppings another 4-6 minutes.
Arugula Pizza with Mozzarella, Parmegiano Reggiano, and Prosciutto
The other pizza I made was with arugula, mozzarella, parmesan and prosciutto.
I used the same sauce and procedure as above. The only difference is that I piled about 3 packed cups of arugula instead of basil.
I also added the parmesan and arugula a little earlier so it wilted down a bit. I’d recommend doing this at least 1 minute 30 seconds prior to taking out of the oven.
I then topped with prosciutto and served!
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If you’re interested in how I’ve made some of my other pizzas, take a look at these links!