Here is a little recipe, because when a girl isn’t eating zucchini noodles and avoiding dairy because she was a poor excuse for an Italian born with lactose intolerance issues and gluten sensitivities….who doesn’t want to get into their silk pjs, watch endless episodes of the Real Housewives and devour an entire homemade margherita pizza?
Here it is ladies:
I could not think of a better debut blog post than to share my absolute favorite pizza recipe (really using that term loosely here, as this isn’t so much of a recipe as it is me advocating for the best ingredients to throw on top of some dough).
No surprise here, my favorite pizza is super simple, yet the old story, told time and time again, tells us that this pizza was created by a Neapolitan pizza maker, for none other than the Queen, Margherita of Savoy, so although it may be simple, it is classy as f*ck.
To reflect the beautiful colours of the Italian flag (proud much?) the pizza maker used a simple trio of ingredients: a vibrant red tomato sauce (typical), fresh, bright green basil (Italian cuisine staple) and fresh fior di latte cheese (please say goodbye to those mozzarella balls that are dry and vacuum packed – I promise you this is one of the most important secrets to authentic Italian pizza). Simple, symbolic and ridiculously delicious, you can truly never go wrong with a fresh Margherita pizza, even the strict carnivores love this one. I am a firm believer in fresh, simple ingredients, you know, think Gwyneth Paltrow and her “It’s All Easy” cookbook and everything Goop guided. The con to this, is that sometimes fresh and simple also translates to organic and expensive. This is not the case here, I promise.
I love the fresh pizza dough they have available at my local whole foods, but you can definitely use fresh pizza dough from any of your local grocery stores. Or if you want to make your own fresh pizza dough from scratch, go for it. I have no idea how so I don’t have a recipe for that for you, however my professional advice is to skip that sh*t and use the extra time to get a manicure on your way home from work before you walk into your lovely grocery store of choice and pick up that fresh dough that somebody else kneaded for you – modern day woman my friends, don’t say I never gave you any great advice.
I have to admit, I do like to take a little extra time and make a quick, fresh tomato sauce to use for this pizza. Really, all you need to do is dice up some tomatoes, I personally love the vine tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, and simmer them with some olive oil, minced garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a saucepan.
Add in a can of crushed tomatoes, I highly recommend the San Marzano tomatoes for this, but please feel free to ignore my Italian food snobbish suggestions and use literally any can of crushed tomatoes, it’s the same sh*t.
Let this cook on low for 25 minutes, or more if you have some time. While this cooks, drizzle some olive oil over your pizza pan of choice, I recommend a good old, classic round pan, and then sprinkle lightly with some all-purpose flour. Work the pizza dough into the pan until it is spread out and fills most of the pan, leaving about an inch or so of the pan exposed around the edges.
Spread this delicious, fragrant and fresh sauce over your pizza dough.
Place slices of the fresh Fior di Latte or Buffalo Mozzarella all over the sauce-covered dough.
Place a bunch of fresh whole Basil leaves all over, completing the gorgeous array of Italy’s national flag colours.
Drizzle a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over entire pizza.
Cook at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. I like to cook pizza at a really high heat for a short period of time, something my daddy taught me that I can never stray from. It seems to always create a perfect crust and leaves the fresh cheese flavour, which I think is especially important for Margherita pizza.
If you need a quick at-home date night dinner, this is your recipe. Mom and dad coming to visit and you just worked a 9-hour day for your horrifying boss that was sent from hell to make your life miserable? Make this. Girls night in to watch a really awe-inspiring and life altering episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey? Definitely make this. And definitely accompany it with a nice glass of wine or if you’re in the mood for beer, I highly recommend an ice cold Peroni. What is Italian pizza without the most popular Italian lager to accompany it?
Honestly, still a great f**king pizza….I just wanted to end off this post on a dramatic, poignant note. Drink whatever beer floats your little boats.
PS. If you need more guilty pleasure snacks for when you are emotionally eating and watching the bachelor, check out this recipe.