Margarita's International Recipes


Homemade Pizza


Ok, here's the first cheat. This is not an Abruzzese dish but my rendition of the spare yet delicious pizzas made famous in Naples. When well done, it has a thin (but not crispy) crust. As the toppings are minimal, use the best ingredients you can and their flavors will shine. I recommend fresh herbs.

I served this sprinkled with fresh chive blossoms and Bonny Doon's Malvasia Bianca, a dry white wine with a wonderfully floral bouquet.

Herbed Pizza Margherita

Dough Ingredients: makes 2 pizzas
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (I prefer the Oetker brand)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Toppings: for 1 pizza
  • handful of assorted herbs (I used basil, summer savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed.

    Dissolve yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water. Let proof for 10 minutes.
    In large mixing bowl, mix flour & salt. Then add proofed yeast, remaining water & olive oil. Mix well until it begins to form a dough. Knead dough and add small amounts of extra flour if necessary until the dough is silky smooth and not overly sticky. This should take between 5-10 minutes.
    Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise in warm place until dough doubles in bulk, at least 1 hr. Punch down and let rest for an additional 10 minutes.

    When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    Divide dough in half, then using your fingers or a rolling pin, roll each piece into a rough circle (or rectangle) about 1 cm thick and place on a cookie sheet or pizza stone sprinkled with corn meal.
    Brush top of dough with olive oil, then spread on tomato paste. Scatter herbs and mozzarella.
    Bake at 450F for 15 minutes, or until pizza is brown around the edges, cheese has melted and dough is cooked through. Watch the pizza so it doesn't scorch. If it seems to be getting too dark, reduce the oven's temp to 425F.

    1 pizza serves 4 as a light appetizer.
    Dough adapted from the Martha Stewart Cookbook

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