Open House Pizza Margherita
Diced fresh mozzarella — available in brine-soaked balls at some supermarkets and delis — turns into creamy pools on this classic pizza.
Makes two 12-inch pizzas
Roll or press pizza dough into two 12-inch circles, slightly thicker at the edges than in the center. If using pizza pans, sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal or coat with olive oil and place dough in pan. If using a pizza stone, sprinkle with cornmeal and place stone in oven. Preheat oven to 400°.
Brush 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over each pizza, leaving edges bare. Sprinkle minced garlic evenly over the oil.
Distribute sliced tomatoes evenly over each pizza crust, followed by diced mozzarella and basil ribbons.
If using a hot stone or tiles, use a well-floured pizza peel to carefully lift one pizza from preparation surface and place on stone. If using pizza pans, place first pizza in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted.
Remove pizza from oven carefully (use peel if baking with a stone). Set aside to rest briefly before slicing. Repeat baking process with second pie. Let stand briefly before cutting with a sharp knife or pizza wheel.
An Homage from the Oven
Legend has it that Neapolitan baker Raffaele Esposito created this pizza in 1889 as a tribute to Queen Margherita of Italy. The red, white, and green ingredients represent the colors of the Italian flag. Modern variations include Margherita Bianca, which is made without the tomatoes.