It’s time for Friday Night Bites, and we’re going meatless for lent!
Elizabeth’s Easy Homemade Margherita Pizza
Growing up, Friday night was always Pizza Night. My mom, Karen, always treated us to her special homemade pizza, so no matter what was going on, we always made sure to be home for Friday night dinner. She would always go one step further and personalize a portion of the pizza for everyone: pepperoni and anchovies for my Dad; pepperoni, onions and peppers for her and me, pepperoni for my brother, sometimes we’d do sausage, onion and peppers. When I started dating my husband, Arnie, he would come to the house purposely on Friday just to have her pizza (I think he was coming to see me too!) When I set up house, I carried on the tradition and Friday night is always Pizza Night at the Mascali’s – whoever happens to be at the house, joins in – open door policy.
Although we’ve been known to go crazy with the toppings, we’re enjoying a purist phase with Margherita Pizza. Here’s the basic and simple recipe, have fun and create your own favorite combinations. You can also create a traditional pizza by swapping the fresh mozzarella for grated mozzarella (use a part-skim variety, it has less moisture).
Homemade Margherita Pizza – (Yields 2 large pizzas)
- 2 balls of pizza dough – they are typically about 1 lb. each (I buy dough at our local pizzeria, you can buy it or make it yourself)
- ¾ cup tomato sauce
- 1 lb. thinly sliced mozzarella (we have been using fresh mozzarella and it’s out of this world)
- Basil (optional)
Remove pizza dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature, at least one hour. Preheat oven to 450°. Grease 2 large pizza pans. Place a ball of pizza dough on each pan and starting in the center of each gently knead the dough pressing it out toward edge of pan. Ladle ¼ cup of sauce in center of each and again spread toward outer edge until evenly distributed (if sauce is looking a little thin for your taste, ladle a bit more on). Top with thinly sliced mozzarella. Bake for 12 minutes or until bottom is golden brown and top is bubbly. Remove from oven, top with basil (optional), slice with pizza wheel and serve. Pop 2nd pizza in oven – the first will go fast!
Enjoy and cheers to the weekend!
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