This is the pizza that pizzerias around the world should be judged by. If they can’t make a good margherita, then there is probably no chance of them doing justice to any other pizzas. It is the marriage of flavors of these ingredients that make this pizza stand the test of time. There are many different ways you can make this pizza, but remember the simple things in life are often the best, so make sure you use only the best quality tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and basil (and, if you like, a touch of garlic or even chile). Crown it with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Portions: Makes one 12-inch round pizza. Serves 1–2
- Semolina or all-purpose flour, for rolling
- 6 oz pizza dough, 1/3 cup pizza sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 very ripe heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic confit, crushed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) or to its highest temperature. Once it has reached the temperature, it will then take about 15 minutes for the pizza stone to heat up. Lightly dust a clean work surface with semolina or flour, then roll out the dough to a 12-inch round that is 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the pizza base onto a piece of parchment paper; this is necessary for transferring the assembled pizza to the heated pizza stone. Prick the pizza base all over with a fork. Spread the pizza base evenly with the pizza sauce, then scatter over the parsley and shredded mozzarella. Place the tomato slices over the pizza and scatter over the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Cook the pizza in the oven for 3–5 minutes, then place the torn buffalo mozzarella on the pizza and cook for a further 3–5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven using a pizza peel or wide spatula and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle the hot pizza with the basil and parmesan, and serve.