Nut-free | Soy-free | Gluten-free option | Clean eating option
We’re big pizza lovers in this house. Back in my semi-homemade days I had several pizza posts, but they were all boring pepperoni (or pepperoni and green peppers) pizza. Then we lived in Switzerland and spent 10 days in Italy. They don’t do pepperoni. They do salami, but trust me, it is NOT the same. So I got a little more adventurous.
In the 4 weeks between when we were told we were moving to Switzerland for 6 months and when we actually moved, I binge-watched Rick Steeves’ Europe on PBS–only the countries we were actually thinking of going to (sorry Estonia)–and learned, among many other things, the reported origin of our beloved pizza. It came from Naples in the early 18th or 19th centuries. Legend has it that the archetypal pizza, Pizza Margherita, was commissioned in 1889 to honor the visiting Queen Margherita with the three colors of the Italian flag: red tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella.
I ate this pizza a lot in Italy. And Switzerland. And interestingly, everyone does it differently. The Swiss just do it with tomato sauce. The Romans did a little sauce AND tomatoes. We never made it to Naples, so I don’t know if this really is the real way, but by far my favorite way of eating Pizza Margherita is this: garlic-infused olive oil (LOTS of garlic), fresh Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan for a little bite, and lots of basil.
Publix, our local amazing grocery chain, has amazing Italian-style pizza dough for just a couple bucks, so I get two: I make one pepperoni for the girls, and my husband and I share this. And I eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
No, this is not clean. This is not healthy. You can use whole-grain or gluten-free crust, and the veggies and part-skim mozzarella make it less terrible for you than delivery (or diGiorno! Ha!), but let’s keep this in the “sometimes food” category. With the chocolate frozen custard. Yum!
Original recipe here
- Pizza dough of choice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 10 basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 or 425, depending on the instructions for your chosen pizza dough, with a pizza stone in the oven (optional but highly recommended).
- Pour olive oil into a medium bowl and add garlic and salt. Add sliced tomatoes; toss to coat, and marinate 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
- Roll out and toss your pizza dough to desired width and thickness on a large piece of parchment paper.
- Brush dough evenly with about a tablespoon of garlic oil marinade. Sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and all of the Parmesan.
- Top with tomato slices, spaced evenly, and sprinkle basil over the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over the top of the basil and season all over with salt and pepper.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden, and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
- If there are leftovers, reheat in a 350-degree oven–not the microwave.