Margherita Pizza

When I first started cooking I read this article about Jeff Varasano and went full nerd on the recipe.  Pizza doesn’t have to be that complicated, in fact, it’s insanely easy to make.  It takes a lot of practice and experimentation to make really good tasting pizza.  This is as traditional as they come.

First heat up your oven pretty much as hot as it goes, preferably with a pizza stone inside.  If you have a Viking or Wolf range don’t go higher than 800 degrees.

Note: This makes two decent sized pizzas or one huge-ass pizza.


– 2 cups flour

– 3/4 cup tepid water

– 1 tsp yeast (generic fast rising, or whatever)

– 1/2 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp salt

Mix the water, sugar and yeast together until the yeast dissolves.  The yeast feeds on the sugar and activates it.  Mix the salt and the flour in a big bowl.  Now mix the water mixture and flour mixture together.  Look up some youtube videos for technique or watch the cooking channel, but ignore their other needlessly complicated shit.  When you’re happy with your dough cover it in saran wrap and and put it near the warm oven for a half hour if you’ve got time.  5 minutes if you’re hungry.


– 1 big tin of decent tomatoes

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– good pinch of salt

– a couple basil leaves

Strain the tomatoes and discard the liquid.  Squeeze the water out of the tomates and most of the seeds.  The seeds can make the sauce more bitter tasting.  Put everything else into a food processor or mix by hand.


– Nice mozzarella cheese (fresh in water is best)

– Fresh basil leaves

– Sauce

– If you put other toppings on it’s no longer a margherita pizza.

Split the dough into two balls and roll them flat.  Take the pizza stone out and pop the rolled dough on it.  The dough will start to bubble and cook, so work fast.  Dress the pizza with sauce and toppings and place in the oven to cook for no longer than 9 minutes.  Once the top of the crust starts to burn it’s pretty much done.  You have to wreck a few and cook a bunch before you get any good at making pizza.