Pictured below is a traditional Pizza Margherita that my family enjoyed at many restaurants throughout Sorrento, Naples and Rome, Italy. This is a simple recipe with few ingredients, so it's critical to select the ripest and freshest ingredients possible.
Pizza Dough (See recipe)
1 Cup Marinara Sauce (See recipe)
1 Tsp. Salt
4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Thin
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Fresh Basil Leaves
Split pizza dough into 2 equal parts. Save one for another meal or double the rest of the ingredients and make 2 pizzas. Place pizza dough on a well floured surface and stretch into a round shape, rotating dough as it is being pressed until it is stretched into a 12" circle. Place dough in a well greased baking pan. Spread the sauce on the pizza in a thin layer, leaving a ½" border around the perimeter of the pizza. Season with salt. Top with the sliced mozzarella and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake in a preheated convection oven at 425 degrees for 9 minutes, or in a regular oven until golden brown (approx. 12-15 minutes). Remove from the oven, tear the basil leaves and place over the pizza. Slice and serve immediately. Note: If using a baking stone - preheat the stone for approx. 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Place the dough on a floured pizza peel (instead of the baking pan), and top as indicated above. When ready, place the pizza on the pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust begins to brown. Remove from the oven, tear the basil leaves and place over the pizza. Slice and serve immediately.