The most classic homemade pizza, this margherita pizza recipe features a tangy pizza sauce, gooey mozzarella, and a perfect chewy pizza crust.
For the pizza dough
- 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Food Processor Dough or Thin Crust Dough)
- Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
For the pizza sauce
- 1 small garlic clove (1/2 medium)
- 15 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes or high quality organic canned tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the toppings
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup pizza sauce
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese or 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- A few fresh basil leaves
- Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
- Make the pizza sauce: Cut the garlic into a few rough pieces. Place the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and kosher salt in a blender. Blend until fully combined. (You’ll use about 1/3 cup for the pizza; reserve the remaining sauce and refrigerate for up to 1 week.)
- Prepare the cheese: If using fresh mozzarella cheese, slice it into 1/4 inch thick pieces (see the photos of the pre-baked pizza above). If it’s incredibly watery fresh mozzarella (all brands vary), you may want to let it sit on a paper towel to remove moisture for about 15 minutes then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
- Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
- Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the dough, using about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Add the mozzarella cheese. Top with a thin layer of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt.
- Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
- Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before adding the basil on top (whole leaves, lightly torn, or thinly sliced). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
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