winter pizza margarita

By Monday, February 13, 2012 , , ,

Our little family's favorite lunch spot is Pizza Brutta. Pickle will eat an entire pizza Margarita (minus the crust, which is my favorite part, so it works). He loves watching them assemble the pizza, place it in the 700+ degree wood-fired oven and cut it and serve it to us ("here it comes, momma!").

So, it was only natural that I try to re-create a version of their pizza Margarita at home -- minus the stunning wood-burning oven. Okay, I admit the crust is so not the same, but the essence is true and Pickle loves it just as much.  

It's simple as can be to make, especially if you have the dough for the crust already made. Peter Reinhart's recipe is impeccable -- a must try. I typically free-form this on an aluminum baking sheet.

This is a great, after-work pizza, since there is little to prep. Walk in the door and, before you even take your coat off, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.  Pour a glass of wine, put on some music and start making the pizza! I serve this with an apple-celery salad with raisins and toasted almonds. More on that another time.

Pizza Margarita
serves 4 adults or 1 hungry bambino

1 large ball of pizza dough
2 cups shredded, whole-milk mozzarella
28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes, drained
1 small clove of garlic, sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
6-8 fresh basil leaves,torn into large pieces.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place a rack on the lowest level of the oven.

On a floured surface, roll or press out dough to the desired size -- about 14-inches round or a 11 x 14 inch rectangle. Place on your baking sheet.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil. Process until the sauce it smooth and voluminous. Take for seasoning and adjust as needed. This sauce is enough for two pizzas, so stash one part in the freezer for next time.

When the oven is good and hot, sprinkle with cheese, uniformly covering the surface. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Take the pizza out of the oven and spread the sauce all over the cheese, covering completely. Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes before cutting into pieces. Scatter with basil leaves. Serve while piping hot.

Happy eating, -s

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  2. yes, trying to come back slowly!
    For the "quick" version of this, I use a flat, aluminum sheet pan (Williams-Sonoma) since it would take too long to heat the pizza stone post work, but if you were making this on the weekend (it would make roughly 2, 10-inch pies) I would totally use the stone. the cook time would likely be shorter since it's cooking from top and bottom.