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Pizza with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil
© Akiko Ida + Pierre Javelle

Pizza with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • VEGETARIAN

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. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  2. One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  3. Salt
  4. 1 pound room-temperature pizza dough
  5. 10 ounces buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
  6. 16 basil leaves, torn
  1. Put a pizza stone on the oven floor and preheat the oven to 500°, allowing at least 45 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Make Ahead The cooked tomatoes can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

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.