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Ina Garten Homemade Margherita Pizza

by E-Wilson Nancy

Margherita pizza is a traditional Italian pizza that is made with a few simple ingredients, including tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. The pizza is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who visited Naples in 1889 and was served a pizza that was created to resemble the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella cheese), and green (basil leaves).

To make Margherita pizza, a thin crust is typically topped with tomato sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. The pizza is then baked in a wood-fired oven until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly. The result is a simple yet delicious pizza with a perfect balance of flavors.

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Margherita pizza has become one of the most popular types of pizza in the world and is enjoyed by pizza lovers everywhere.

What is Margherita pizza?

Designed during the 1800s, pizza margherita features the shades of the Italian banner: white from the mozzarella, red from the tomato sauce, and green from the basil. The story goes that the Margherita is named after Sovereign Margherita of Savoy, an Italian sovereign in the 1800’s.

How to articulate margherita pizza? With an appropriate Italian pronunciation, it seems as though pit-za damage geh-REE-ta. It seems like the exemplary Mexican mixed drink, the margarita, which unexpectedly is a typical incorrect spelling of this word!

Tools for homemade Margherita pizza

If you’re planning to make homemade Margherita pizza, here are some tools that can be helpful:

Pizza stone or baking steel: A pizza stone or baking steel is essential for achieving a crispy crust. These tools help distribute heat evenly and absorb moisture from the dough, resulting in a perfectly crispy crust.

  • Pizza peel: A pizza peel is a flat paddle used to transfer the pizza in and out of the oven. It is helpful for preventing the pizza from sticking to the countertop or baking surface.
  • Rolling pin: A rolling pin is useful for rolling out the pizza dough to the desired thickness and shape.
  • Pizza cutter: A pizza cutter is a specialized tool designed to slice through pizza with ease. It makes it easy to create even slices for serving.
  • Mixing bowls: Mixing bowls are used to mix and knead the pizza dough. It is recommended to have at least two bowls of different sizes for mixing and rising the dough.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are important for accurately measuring out ingredients for the pizza dough and sauce.
  • Kitchen scale: A kitchen scale can be useful for measuring ingredients by weight, which can be more accurate than measuring by volume.
  • Food processor or blender: A food processor or blender can be used to make homemade tomato sauce quickly and easily.

By using these tools, you can create delicious homemade margherita pizza that tastes like it came from your favorite pizzeria.

What to Serve with Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza is a classic Italian dish that is delicious on its own or paired with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas for what to serve with Margherita pizza:

  • Salad: A simple salad of mixed greens dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a great accompaniment to Margherita pizza. You can also add tomatoes, cucumbers, or other vegetables to the salad for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Garlic bread: Warm and crusty garlic bread is a perfect complement to the cheesy and saucy Margherita pizza. You can make your own garlic bread by toasting slices of Italian bread with garlic butter.
  • Antipasto platter: An antipasto platter is a great way to start the meal and to complement Margherita pizza. The platter can include cured meats, olives, roasted peppers, marinated artichokes, and other Italian delicacies.
  • Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers are a healthy and delicious side dish that can be served alongside Margherita pizza.
  • Wine: A glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Pinot Noir, is a perfect beverage to accompany a Margherita pizza. A crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can also pair well with the fresh tomato and basil flavors of the pizza.

Remember, when it comes to pairing sides with pizza, the possibilities are endless. Feel free to experiment and find your own favorite combinations!

How To Make Homemade Margherita Pizza

Homemade Margherita pizza is a delicious and classic Italian dish that is surprisingly easy to make. The pizza is characterized by a thin, crispy crust that is topped with a flavorful tomato sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. Here’s the process for making homemade Margherita pizza:

  • Prepare the pizza dough: The pizza dough can be made from scratch using flour, yeast, salt, water, and olive oil. The dough is mixed, kneaded, and left to rise for several hours until it doubles in size.
  • Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to a high temperature, usually around 450-500°F (230-260°C). Place a pizza stone or baking steel in the oven to heat up.
  • Roll out the dough: Roll out the pizza dough into a thin, round shape using a rolling pin. Make sure to leave a thicker edge around the circumference of the dough for the crust.
  • Add the tomato sauce: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the pizza dough, leaving about half an inch of space around the edge.
  • Add the toppings: Add fresh slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce, followed by fresh basil leaves. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top.
  • Bake the pizza: Using a pizza peel, transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking steel. Bake the pizza in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Slice and serve: Remove the pizza from the oven using the pizza peel and allow it to cool for a few minutes before slicing it into wedges. Serve hot and enjoy!

Homemade Margherita pizza is a delicious and easy-to-make meal that is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner or a special gathering with friends and family.

Tips for Margherita Pizza Success:

Margherita pizza is a classic pizza that is simple yet delicious. Here are some tips for making the perfect Margherita pizza:

  1. Use good quality ingredients: Margherita pizza relies on the quality of its ingredients, so use fresh, high-quality tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Opt for San Marzano tomatoes if possible, as they are sweeter and less acidic.
  2. Make your own dough: Homemade pizza dough is easy to make and will take your pizza to the next level. It’s important to let the dough rise for at least an hour before using it.
  3. Don’t overdo the toppings: Margherita pizza is all about simplicity, so don’t overload the pizza with too many toppings. A light coating of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil is all you need.
  4. Use a hot oven: Preheat your oven to at least 450°F (230°C) and use a pizza stone or baking sheet to help the crust cook evenly.
  5. Keep an eye on the cooking time: Margherita pizza is best when the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Check your pizza often while it’s cooking, and remove it from the oven as soon as it’s done.
  6. Add fresh basil after baking: To keep the basil from wilting or burning, add it to the pizza after it comes out of the oven.
  7. Let it cool before slicing: It’s tempting to dig into your pizza as soon as it comes out of the oven, but let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. This will help the cheese set and prevent the toppings from sliding off.

Ina Garten Homemade Margherita Pizza

pizza is a delicious and easy way to make pizza at home. Here's a recipe for a classic Margherita pizza using a cast iron skillet
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Course: pizza
Cuisine: any
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  • Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface until it's the size of your skillet.
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your cast iron skillet and heat it up over medium heat.
  • Once the skillet is hot, carefully transfer the rolled-out pizza dough to the skillet. Use your fingers to press the dough up the sides of the skillet.
  • Add the tomato sauce to the center of the dough and spread it out in a thin layer, leaving about 1 inch of dough around the edges.
  • Add the sliced mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
  • Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of the cheese and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and let the pizza cool for a few minutes.
  • Once the pizza has cooled slightly, sprinkle some torn basil leaves on top and slice into wedges.
  • Serve the pizza immediately and enjoy!
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