So apparently Queen Margherita of Italy had to visit Naples in 1899 to escape a cholera epidemic in northern Italy. A local chef made this for her, based on the colors of the Italian flag, and she loved it so he named it after her. True or not, the pizza is a fine example of simple is good.
I have tried lots of recipes for pizza dough. There’s a collection on that page.
I opted to make this a very thin pizza but you could do it however you like. I took a pizza dough recipe that used 3 cups flour and used half of that for a pizza that fed 2 of us plus 3 slices left over.
- 1 recipe pizza dough
- 2-3 large tomatoes chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic sliced very thinly
- a few glugs of olive oil
- some salt
- grated mozzarella to cover the pizza
- 1/4 cup or more fresh basil leaves sliced thinly (roll them up and then slice them all at once, a chiffonade is the term I think)
- grated Parmesan
- Make the dough and while it is rising seed the tomatoes by cutting them in half and squeezing the seeds out, then chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Add some olive oil, the garlic and salt and stir then let this sit while the dough rises, about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500 or 550, as hot as it will go with a baking stone inside.
- Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper.
- Spread some olive oil across the dough, then sprinkle grated Mozzarella or thin slices of Mozzarella or FRESH mozzarella slices across the dough. Spread the chopped tomatoes out on top.
- Bake the pizza by sliding the dough, parchment paper and all, onto the stone. If you've preheated the stone, it's probably 8-10 minutes they say. But pull the parchment paper out after 4-5 minutes.
- When it's done, pull it out and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese across and add the fresh basil slices. Let it sit 5 -10 minutes before slicing.
I didn’t give many measurements here because so much depends! How sauce do you like your pizza? How large is your pizza? How thin did you roll it out? Did you prebake the dough a bit (which I might do next time to get around the not being able to preheat the stone)?
I see recipes for grilling pizzas and they always say cook the dough a few minutes, then flip it, and then top it and cook until done. I think I will try the same thing here next time, cooking the plain dough on the unheated stone a few minutes, then flipping it, topping it and finish baking it.
However, even the way I did it, my daughter and I were both marveling over how good it was! And I’ve made pizza for years, but always opted to make a sauce and usually adding pepperoni or a bunch of veggies or both. This was so simple but so good!