Pizza Margherita

"This is pizza at its purest perfection, as it is encountered in Italy or on the French Rivera. The toppings are simple but the result is anything but! For perfect pizza dough try Recipe #236785!"
photo by Kitchen Witch Steph photo by Kitchen Witch Steph
photo by Kitchen Witch Steph
photo by Kitchen Witch Steph photo by Kitchen Witch Steph
Ready In:
1hr 5mins
1 14 inch pizza




  • Put pizza stone on oven floor if using a gas oven; on the lowest rack if using electric oven (remove all other racks in either case).
  • Preheat oven to highest temperature (500). Allow about 1 hour to preheat the stone.
  • Prepare the Topping:

  • Combine tomatoes, salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup (10-15 minutes). Tranfers to bowl to cool.
  • Toss together mozzarella and remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Shape the dough: See Recipe #236785.
  • Assemble and bake the pizza:

  • Sprinkle baker's peel with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Carefully slide dough onto peel, then jerk peel once or twice: If dough sticks, lift it and sprinkle a little more cornmeal underneath.
  • Optional: rub slit clove of garlic over dough.
  • Spread tomato sauce evenly over dough, leaving 1/2 inch border and top sauce with mozzarella.
  • Line up far edge of peel with far edge of stone and tilt peel, jerking it gently to start pizza moving. When edge of pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to transfer pizza to stone (do not pull pizza back).
  • Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 8 minutes. Slide peel under pizza to remove from oven, then scatter basil leaves on top.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Lucky in Bayview
    Loved it! I loved the outcome of the cooked fresh tomatoes. I didn't peel them and didn't notice the skin. This was easy and so delicious! Thanks for sharing the keeper.
  2. MarraMamba
    This is a perfect pizza margherita. After living in italy for 4 years i am pretty fussy. I was especially impressed with the cornmeal for the peel (i use a cast iron griddle skillet that i sit on top of the heating up stove with the cornmeal, it does great things for the dough)
  3. Kitchen Witch Steph
    I had to the good fortune of getting to eat a slice of this when my friend made it tonight for dinner. It was heavenly! I know she tinkered with it some like she always does when cooking anything but I am sure she will show up here soon with her review. I know she used a pizza seasoning in the sauce with garlic, oregano, fennel, etc. It really jazzed it up. I donated fresh basil from my garden. I will be making this for myself directly after the ZWT4. Too good!
  4. misscrys79
    OK...I'm infamous for tinkering with recipes until it turns out the way I like it, so it is no surprise that I gave this one a bit of an overhaul and the result was a 5-star Pizza Margherita. For the sauce, I added Penzeys pizza seasoning, 5-6 cloves of freshly minced garlic and some salt and pepper to taste. Instead of grated mozzarella, I used thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and topped the pizza with fresh grated parmesan. After I pulled the pizza out of the oven, I sprinkled chiffonade basil over the top and voila!


"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside . . . Chardonnay in one hand . . .chocolate in the other; the body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"
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