The Margherita pizza is the classic example of simple flavors using quality ingredients. This isn’t your ordinary cheese pizza. Your care in using quality ingredients like homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil will yield amazing results.
Drain the sliced mozzarella on a paper towel before dressing the pizza to avoid a soggy pizza. The end result should be a crisp crust with gooey, melted cheese!
Basic red pizza sauce (see recipe below)
Fresh ball mozzarella, sliced thin
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Fresh basil, torn
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pizza dough rolled to ¼ inch thick
Prepare your pizza dough for toppings by first spreading a thin layer of olive oil (to the edges), and seasoning with salt and pepper. To maximize your prep time, once rolled, place the dough on a cookie sheet or pizza peel. If using fresh dough, first sprinkle a liberal amount of cornmeal on the peel/sheet to avoid sticking while transferring to the Grilled Pizza Stone. For more tips and tricks on dough preparation, view our dough video at www.redskygrilling.com/recipes.
Dress the pizza with your favorite, basic red pizza sauce. Top with thinly sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle freshly torn basil on top (alternatively you can add the basil when the pizza is removed from the grill). Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Basic Red Pizza Sauce
We like to make a large batch of pizza sauce at once. Storing the pizza sauce in plastic baggies (about a cup’s worth of sauce per baggie) and freezing them is a great time-saver. There are many different ways to make basic red pizza sauce, here is my favorite. I strongly suggest you use San Marzano tomatoes, for the extra few dollars per tin, the upgrade in flavor is well worth it.
2 28 ounce tins of whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano preferably)
1 Small onion
4 Cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½ Tablespoon of dried oregano
½ Tablespoon of dried thyme
1 Cup of chicken stock or white wine or red wine
2 Tablespoons of sherry vinegar
Fresh Basil and/or Fresh Oregano (optional)
Salt to taste
Preheat a large sauce pan or dutch-oven on medium-high. Pour the contents of the tomato tins into a large bowl. Using your hands (time to roll up your sleeves) crush the tomatoes as finely as possible. Peel an onion and remove the top and bottom. Peel the garlic. Puree both in a blender. Add olive oil to sauce pan until shimmering. Pour onion/garlic mixture into pan. Sauté until mixture just starts to turn golden (about 3 minutes). Add the dried herbs and pepper flakes and cook for one more minute. Deglaze the pan with either the chicken stock or wine and let reduce by half. Add the sherry vinegar (it really makes the flavors come alive) and carefully pour in the tomatoes. If you have fresh basil or oregano, take a few fronds or stems and place them in the sauce. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the fresh basil or oregano. Salt to taste. That’s it…you’re done! Let cool before using on pizza or storing for future use.