Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil make this classic pizza so popular – light yet delectable and perfect for feeding an army!
Start with a delicious pizza dough (we suggest this homemade recipe), spread some sauce on it, and scatter mozzarella pieces across it before topping off your masterpiece with basil leaves for decoration.
The pizza has long been a staple in Italian cuisine. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that it developed into a more modern dish. The simple wheat flour flatbread was often topped with lard, garlic, and coarse salt during this time. This basic flatbread grew in popularity as it was a cheap and convenient food for the working class.
Then in the mid-1700s, a young Neapolitan chef named Raffaele Esposito developed one of the most famous pizzas ever invented: the Margherita Pizza. It was reportedly named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who visited Naples in 1889. Esposito claimed that the simple tomato pizza with mozzarella cheese and basil was her favorite, so he named it in her honor (though some believe she simply preferred tomatoes, cheese, and basil as they also represent the colors of the Italian flag).
A true Margherita Pizza is made with only four ingredients – tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, and olive oil. The dough is kneaded by hand and then stretched into a round shape. The tomato sauce is very simple, and the basil leaves are added after cooking to preserve their flavor and color. A classic pizza is a celebration of simplicity and quality, and the result is an exquisitely flavored pie that’s light, airy, and fresh.
There are many different types of pizza worldwide, but this traditional pizza is still one of our favorites. We love its balance of flavors, its soft texture, and the perfect crust. The secret to a good Margherita is the quality of the ingredients – and that’s especially important when making it at home.
If you want to try your hand at creating this masterpiece, start with a good authentic Napoletana pizza base. Pour the water into a mixing bowl and dissolve the salt with your hands, then add the flour, breaking it down into the water using your fingers. When the dough is ready, it’s a good idea to use gloves because it can be quite sticky!
Basic Margherita Pizza Ingredients
Margherita Pizza is an easy and delicious dish made up of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves – an all-around tasty combination that pleases many palates. Perfect as an accompaniment for a quick bite-to-eat or the centerpiece to an impressive dinner party menu!
Ingredients used to create pizza can make it either rich or healthy depending on your choices. You have various crust options available such as refined or whole-wheat flour crusts; dough may also be enhanced by adding egg yolks, olive oil or even milk; in addition to yeast, salt and water which should all be considered essential ingredients for its creation.
Yeast is an integral component of pizza dough, responsible for its light texture and airiness. To create the ideal pizza experience, sufficient time must be set aside to properly mix all the ingredients, knead it into shape and place it somewhere warm to let the yeast do its magic.
Though it’s possible to bake pizza without yeast, the results won’t be nearly as satisfying. A pizza made without it won’t have the same light and airy texture or crispy crust that comes from using yeast; furthermore, the dough may not rise properly leading to an undesirable flat taste and flat appearance.
An essential step in creating the perfect pizza is making sure the oven temperature is at just the right level. Too little heat could mean your pizza won’t cook through and will have an unappetizing soggy bottom, so for optimal results it is recommended that you preheat it on its highest setting prior to starting baking your pie.
For an outstanding Margherita Pizza recipe, add extra toppings such as roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini or steamed corn kernels to the base. Or experiment with different varieties of tomatoes such as Roma or Plum tomatoes.
One key tip for creating a fantastic pizza is avoiding overdoing it with toppings. Too many ingredients can lead to soggy and greasy results, while too much tomato passata or cheese could cause dough wetness and sogginess. Finally, using high-quality, freshly made mozzarella is essential.
Original Margherita Pizza
Simple pizza Margheritas are timeless classics. A thin crust topped with sweet tomatoes, bubbly mozzarella, and fresh basil–this timeless dish serves as the ideal introduction to home pizza-making for beginners as well as an ageless classic that never goes out of fashion. Making authentic Italian pizza requires quality ingredients; authentically Italian versions often use Tipo 00 (high protein flour available from supermarkets under this name), combined with some sourdough starter for an airy yet flavorful dough that remains light yet flavorful over time.
San Marzano tomatoes have dense flesh with rich, sweet flavors, making them the ideal sauce choice. Lightly cook these in olive oil before seasoning with kosher salt to finish them off. Fresh mozzarella is usually preferred when creating Neapolitan pizza; however, this can sometimes be prohibitively costly or hard to source; an affordable alternative would be fior di latte (made with cow’s milk and less costly).
1889 the original Margherita Pizza was created to commemorate Queen Margherite of Savoy’s visit to Naples. Chef Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas to present to Queen Margherite and Prince Eugene of Savoy during their tour; Queen Margherite particularly liked one topped with mozzarella and tomato; it reflected the colors of Italy’s flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). Therefore they named this creation Pizza Margherita after her.
Beyond ingredients, the shape and structure of the dough is key in producing an authentic Italian pizza. Hand forming must take place without use of tools such as rolling pins or similar, so as to maintain its integrity ensuring an airy yet light crust for each slice.
“Less is more.” A great pizza begins with quality ingredients in just the right proportions; using top quality mozzarella for optimal results and baking it in a wood-fired oven are essential elements that create something truly remarkable that not only delights your palate but also catches the eye.
Traditional vs. Margherita Pizza
Margherita pizza stands alone as an entire meal and should be considered part of any healthy lifestyle. It provides the ideal blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that leave you satisfied without feeling overstuffed compared to other pizza varieties; furthermore, it contains significantly fewer calories than its competitors, making it a good option for weight loss or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Margherita pizza‘s distinctive flavor and texture lie in its dough. To achieve this delicious treat, the original recipe calls for using either a sourdough starter or fresh yeast mixed with water and salt before being kneaded and formed into rounds before toppings are applied and baked in a high-temperature oven. This process gives Margherita pizza its unique character and taste!
Traditional Italian pizza features less cheese and more tomato sauce than its modern variations, with the dough being formed using only hand techniques – no working tools (rolling pin or disk press machine) are permitted – to form its thin crust. Cheese of this variety usually refers to Mozzarella di Bufala while San Marzano tomatoes provide flavor balance as well as dense flesh that holds up well against heat sources in wood-fired ovens.
A pizzaiolo gathers all ingredients before placing their pie into an oven for approximately 90 seconds – much shorter than what’s necessary when baking in an ordinary home oven. This allows the dough to retain its structure while softening from heat exposure, while mozzarella remains soft yet still strong enough for baking in such an intense environment. Finally, they drizzle olive oil before serving their masterpiece to their customers.
Modern variations of this pizza typically utilize pre-made store-bought dough and feature more than just mozzarella as toppings; other cheeses such as parmesan and asiago may be added for additional flavors, and the sauce may even be pureed for greater depth and complexity in flavor. Some recipes also call for the addition of herbs like oregano and basil for additional depth of taste and to complement sweet tomatoes for additional depth of taste.
Classic Margherita Pizza Recipe
Here’s a Classic Margherita Pizza Recipe for you:
- 1 pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 2-3 tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach (usually around 500°F or 260°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats.
- Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to your desired thickness. If you prefer a thinner crust, roll it out thinner.
- Transfer the rolled-out dough to a pizza peel or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust.
- Arrange the sliced mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce. If the cheese is too moist, you can dab it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Place the tomato slices on top of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the pizza.
- Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated oven. If using a pizza stone, slide the pizza onto the stone. If using a baking sheet, place the sheet in the oven.
- Bake the pizza for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a minute or two.
- Tear the fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over the pizza.
- Slice the Margherita pizza into wedges and serve hot.
Enjoy your homemade Margherita pizza!