Classic Margherita Pizza

classic margherita pizza
Photo: Paola + Murray
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
1 13-inch round pizza

An enduring Italian favorite, this simple pie needs nothing more than tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil to shine.


  • 1 recipe Classic Pizza Dough

  • Semolina flour or fine cornmeal, for dusting

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • cup No-Cook Pizza Sauce

  • 6 ounces fresh salted mozzarella, cut into scant ¼-inch slices, room temperature

  • ½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (a scant ¼ cup)

  • Fresh basil leaves and red-pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with rack in lower third lined with a pizza stone or baking sheet. Turn dough out onto a pizza peel or thin wooden cutting board dusted with semolina (do not punch down). Starting in center and using both hands, press down and outward with your fingertips, rotating dough occasionally. Gradually work toward edges, leaving a 1-inch border of undisturbed dough, until it's stretched to an approximately 13-inch round.

  2. Lightly drizzle dough with oil; season with salt and pepper. Gently spread sauce evenly to just inside border, top evenly with mozzarella, and sprinkle with Parmigiano. With one quick forward-and-back jerking motion, slide pizza from peel onto stone. (This is not the moment to hesitate! Be brave and bold, and the pizza will slide off the peel.)

  3. Bake until crust is puffed, golden brown in places, and set on bottom, and cheese is bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pizza to a wire rack; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Top with basil and pepper flakes, slice, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

One recipe will serve two to three people; double or triple it to serve more.

Semolina is a coarsely ground flour with a texture similar to that of fine cornmeal; it helps the pizza glide smoothly from the peel.

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