Pizza with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Roman-style pizza has a cracker-thin crust and is often topped by only tomato and basil. But the outstanding pizza Margherita by executive chef Marco Gallotta at 'Gusto follows the Neapolitan model, with a thicker, chewier crust topped by tomato, basil and lots of oozy, slightly tangy, extremely fresh buffalo mozzarella.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 pound room-temperature pizza dough
- 10 ounces buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 16 basil leaves, torn
- Put a pizza stone on the oven floor and preheat the oven to 500°, allowing at least 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat, stirring a few times, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt.
- Cut the pizza dough into 4 pieces and pat each one into a disk. Transfer the disks to a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll 1 disk of dough into a 9-inch round. Transfer it to a floured pizza peel or flat cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the tomatoes over the dough. Top with one-fourth of the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for about 4 minutes, or until browned around the edges and bubbling. Transfer the pizza to a work surface and sprinkle with 4 basil leaves. Cut it into 4 wedges and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough, tomatoes, cheese, olive oil and basil.
The straightforward flavors here are best matched with an equally straightforward, fruity wine. For a red, turn to a soft, spicy Nero d'Avola from Sicily; for a white, try a Bianco from Campania.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.