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Pizza Margherita

September 15, 2010

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Makes one 12-inch pizza

You need a pizza stone and a pizza peel.

Dough for one 12-inch round (see recipe)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
3 leaves fresh basil, shredded

1. Two hours before you plan to make your pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator. An hour before, put the pizza stone on the floor of a gas oven or on the bottom rack of an electric oven. Set your oven to 500 or 550 degrees.

2. On a lightly floured counter, flatten a ball of dough to an 8-inch round. Drape the round over one closed fist and with the other hand, pull the edges out, rotating the round, until you have a 12-inch circle. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly round. Place the dough on a pizza peel.

3. Ladle tomato sauce into the center of the dough and spread it with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1-inch rim. The sauce should not be too thick. Place the mozzarella cheese on top and sprinkle with pecorino Romano.

4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese bubbles. Use the pizza peel to remove the pizza. Transfer to a wire rack. Leave for 1 minute to cool. Sprinkle with basil. Transfer to a board to slice.

Adapted from Scott Riebling