Lucinda's Pizza Margherita
For a simple pizza, try this Neapolitan-style creation. You can also add your favorite toppings to this basic pie or leave off the mozzarella and basil and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the sauce instead. From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).
- Yield: Makes 6 individual 6-inch pizzas
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the oven rack in the upper part of the oven. Place a pizza stone or heavy-bottomed baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
On a clean work surface, roll out the dough pieces to about 6 inches round and 1/4 inch thick. Pick up the dough and stretch further with your fingers. Prepare as many pies as will fit on the stone or baking sheet at one time. Spread some cornmeal on a large wooden pizza peel. Place the rolled dough on the wooden peel one at a time.
Lightly brush the entire pie with olive oil. Thinly spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce around the pie, leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough around the pie. Place 4 slices of cheese evenly around the pie. Lay on 4 to 6 basil leaves. Add other toppings, if desired, at this point.
Open the oven and pull out the oven rack. Working quickly, slide the pie with a flick of the wrist on to the hot stone or pan. Cook the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese melted and bubbling. Serve immediately and repeat with remaining pies.