When I was in middle school, my family went on family vacation to Italy one summer. I loved touring around the country and visiting all of the fabulous historic sites, but the thing I remember the most is the food. Since I was young and picky, I would usually order the same thing whenever we went out to eat–a pizza margherita. It was still similar enough to food I would normally eat that I felt comfortable, but way more flavorful, fresh, and just all around amazing.
One of the weirdest things to me was the fact that they didn’t salt any of their dough or bread–I remember pouring salt out of the salt shaker to make the bread taste “normal,” although I was a little salt obsessed back then so it’s hard to know exactly how much salt it was actually missing.
Well the other night, Jeff and I decided to make our own pizza margherita (with salt!) for dinner. While it doesn’t even compare to the ones I ate in Italy, it was a more than satisfying week night meal that used up some of the myriad tomatoes we have lying around!
Here’s the recipe:
Note: We used this pizza crust recipe with 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of one–Jeff’s always experimenting with his pizza crust recipe but swears he’s perfected it–I guess we’ll see!
homemade pizza dough + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 ounce fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tablespoons pesto
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 ounce basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan until onions are translucent.
Add basil and cook for about 1 minute.
Add tomato paste and water and combine.
Stir in pesto, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Reduce until desired thickness.
Spread sauce evenly over pizza dough, then add cheese.
Bake initially for 15 minutes. Remove pizza and add tomatoes and basil. Bake for another 2-3 minutes.