Pizza Margherita was developed by a Neapolitan cook in the 19th century to serve his queen. And impress her it did, since he slyly and simply highlighted the colors of the Italian flag in the pizza: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil)! This is the prototype pizza, the go-to classic that kids love. When you say “pizza” at home, this is what comes to mind, and rightly so. With fresh ingredients, it practically transports you to Italy.


  • 1 cup canned whole peeled tomatoes (pelati)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pizza Dough, formed into 4 (13-inch) discs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F for 1 hour before baking. (Or preheat a wood-fired pizza oven to very hot, 4 hours before baking.)
  2. In a food processor, purée the tomatoes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Using a spoon, spread one-fourth of the tomato sauce on 1 disc of dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Sprinkle with one-fourth of the mozzarella.
  4. Gently place the pizza on the pizza stone and bake for about 5 minutes, until golden with slight signs of charring. (If using a wood-fired oven, gently place the pizza on the oven floor, and bake for 3 minutes, or until golden and crisp.)
  5. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Slice, garnish with basil and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve immediately.
  6. Repeat with the remaining 3 pizza discs.