How to Make a Classic Margherita Pizza at Home Using a Cult-Favorite Recipe
We've all fallen victim to insatiable pizza cravings, but before you place your next Seamless order, consider the extreme satisfaction—not to mention copious leftovers—you'll get from making your own pie at home. And what better occasion to do so than National Pizza Day? In honor of the holiest of food holidays, we tapped cult-favorite Brooklyn pizza joint Roberta's for their go-to take on the classic margherita (which, for the uninitiated, is made up of tomato, mozzarella, and basil). According to executive chef and co-owner Carlo Mirarchi, the secret's in the sauce: "Cooked until just hot in the oven, it's filled with beautiful acidity that creates a lovely contrast to the creamy mozzarella and chewy crust," he says. Yeah, we're salivating too. Read on for the full recipe.
Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza
1 (12-inch) round of pizza dough
3 tbsp tomato sauce (see recipe below)
Some good olive oil
4 or 5 basil leaves, torn into pieces
2 3/4 oz fresh mozzarella
1. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible. Place a pizza stone or tile son the middle rack of the oven and let it heat up for 1 hour.
2. Put the sauce in the center of the dough round and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the pizza, stopping about a half an inch from the edge. Drizzle a little olive oil over the sauce and scatter the basil on top. (Roberta's puts the basil under the cheese so that the heat from the wood-fired oven doesn't incinerate it.)
3. Break the mozzarella into several large chunks and distribute it over the pizza. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and bubbly.
Makes About 1 1/2 cups
1 can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
Some good olive oil
Fine sea salt
1. Drain the tomatoes and discard the juice (or use it for Bloody Marys). Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the tomatoes until almost smooth.
2. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, blend until smooth, and taste. Add more olive oil and salt to taste, if needed, but keep in mind that the sauce will reduce a little bit when it's baked on a pizza, so it will only get saltier. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, and up to 6 months in the freezer.