Cooking is individual to the cook – we all follow recipes from other people but as we learn we start to develop our own methods and techniques for doing things and our own ideas about flavour combinations and what tastes good and that’s when you become a fully fledged chef. To take some random ingredients and whip up something extraordinary from them is, for me at least, one of the true joys of cooking, not to mention something that I was doing a lot recently – to empty out freezers and cupboards in preparation for moving house!
Pizza is one of my favourite things to make because, quite simply, the beauty of a pizza is in the mind of the creator. You’re limited only by imagination (and of course the boundaries of what you think tastes good).
You can easily order a pizza delivery, which will be nice enough and much quicker, but i think that nothing beats homemade. This pizza margherita is one of a few recipes I’ll post now and then. You may look at and think “why are you posting that when there’s already SO many recipes out there?”. Well, the answer is that I think there are certain things that everyone should have their own “version” of – burgers, spaghetti Bolognese and that kind of thing.
Now sadly, not having a fantastic wood fired, 100-year-old pizza oven (or being able to afford one anytime in the near future!) I could never hope to get close to the sort of light, crispy base margherita pizza that you would be served in a pizzeria in the old streets of Naples. The top item on my bucket list is to go there and eat a traditional Neapolitan margherita (made by one of those Italian dough masters who can chuck the dough around in the air) but between now and when we DO win the lottery and can make that a reality, I think my version will suffice!
Lots of people prefer to load up a pizza with meats and vegetables and that’s fine but I think my favourite pizza will always be a margherita. Simplicity itself – a slightly sweet tomato base, delicious creamy and stringy mozzarella and fresh basil leaves (and a cheeky sprinkle of Parmesan just to stop the sauce blackening in the oven).
Whatever you put on your pizza you need a top-notch tray to bake it on. I always have and always will swear by Pyrex – it’s durable, easy to wash up and has never let me down. My Pyrex pizza tray is no exception. Give it a light spritz of cooking spray before transferring the pizza on it to it and it delivers a faultless performance every single time and it’s dead easy to clean afterwards. And don’t worry I am not affiliated with Pyrex and get paid to write this; I am speaking from my own experience!
So let know what you think of my Dizzy Dieter version of the classic pizza margherita via the comments section or by using the Contact Me form on the site. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so I’d love to see your pizza posts! Enjoy DDx.Print
My sort of traditional Pizza Margherita
- Total Time: 59 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
My version of a classic Margherita pizza – keeping it simple with sweet tomato sauce, fresh basil and creamy mozzarella!
For the Pizza dough:
- 1 teaspoon packet dry yeast
- 300 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 200 ml warm water
For the sauce and topping:
- 100 ml passata
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or minced
- 40 g parmesan, grated
- 125 g ball of mozzarella
- Mix the passata, some basil leaves and crushed garlic in a small bowl and set aside to sit while you make the dough.
- Put the bread flour in a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast and salt.
- Make a well in the middle and pour in the olive oil and 200ml of warm water. Mix until you have what will be a soft and fairly sticky dough.
- Liberally dust a clean bit of work surface with flour. Turn the dough out and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Put in a bowl and cover. Leave to rise in a fairly warm place for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / fan 200°C / 425°F.
- Stretch the dough out to cover a pizza tray and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Spread the sauce over the base with the back of a spoon. Top with the mozzarella, a few basil leaves and any extras that you like and then sprinkle over the parmesan.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden and the cheese is melted.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 minutes