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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{Recipe:} Margherita Pizza

Everyone loves pizza.  Especially a hot, bubbly cheesy one.  But there's nothing quite like home-made pizza. We're talking about the crust and all ~ no Boboli or pizza dough-purchasing going on here!  If you want it to taste the best, you have to make it from scratch!  But hear me out: it is NOT difficult!!!  Really! 

We made this Margherita Pizza {see ours below} last week and loved it.  And you will, too. {Recipes are courtesy of Family Circle magazine}.

Pizza Dough {Prep 5 minutes, Rise 2 hours}
1 cup warm water
1 package (.25 oz) dry active yeast
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Place water in a small bowl and stir in yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Marinara Sauce {Prep 5 minutes, Cook 31 minutes}
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium-size saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring so garlic does not burn.  Stir in tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil & salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cook, with lid ajar, for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Okay, so I have to admit that I cheated here....I took one can (14 oz) tomato sauce and added some sugar, salt, dried basil, oregano and olive oil to it.  I'm sure making it myself would have been better, but I didn't have the time for it!!

Classic Margherita {Prep 10 minutes, Bake at 500 degrees for 13 minutes}
1 pound pizza dough {use previous recipe}
3/4 cup marinara sauce {use previous recipe OR use short-cut listed above!}
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated {I used slivers} Parmesan cheese
8 fresh basil leaves

1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Coat a 14" pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray {or, alternately, use a baking stone, as I did, which does NOT need the spray if it's been well-used}.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 14" circle {or to fit your stone}.  Gently roll up onto a lightly floured rolling pin and unroll onto prepared pan {or stone}.
3. Spread sauce evenly over dough to within 1/2" of edge {I like to use the back of a big spoon to do this, so as not to tear the dough}.  Sprinkle oregano over the sauce.  Arrange mozzarella over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 500 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until nicely browned on the bottom {or cheese is bubbly}.  Remove from oven.
4. Garnish with basil.  Cool slightly and cut into 8 wedges. Serve.

I guarantee you will enjoy this classic ~ simple, yet sooooooooooo delicious!  Enjoy!

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