Pizza, the food that has been a long time favorite for centuries. What started as a simple flatbread in the 16th century has evolved into many different varieties. Although, pizza takes on many extravagant forms in America (such as the Chicago deep dish), it still remains pretty traditional in Italy.
Jacob and I had our first true Italian pizza experience on our first night in Rome. We arrived in the city late that evening, but sure enough there were still many restaurants open. The Italians like to dine late, which is really nice for late travelers like ourselves! We found a beautiful restaurant just down the street from our hotel. It was probably 10:30 at night, but the restaurant was still bustling with people. It was quite the contrast from the restaurants back home. After 20 minutes of waiting for an empty table, we were finally able to be seated. I had to try the pizza margherita (which, by the way was only $6 for a whole pizza!) for my first meal in Italy, and it did not disappoint! Complete with a load of melty cheese, fresh basil and a homemade tomato sauce, this pizza was amazing.
Although this pizza recipe is not created by an Italian chef, it comes pretty dang close to the real thing. Plus, if you use the fast-acting, pizza crust yeast that I recommend it makes this recipe really quick and easy to make! Perfect for those weeknight dinners when you don’t have a lot of time or energy to spend cooking.
- Pizza Crust
- 1¼-1¾ cup flour
- 1 packet of pizza crust yeast
- 1½ tsp sugar
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup very warm water (120-130F)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Pizza Toppings
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- garlic powder
- natural mozzarella (sliced in ½" pieces)
- fresh basil (about 8 leaves)
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
- Mix 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add water and oil and stir until well-blended. The dough will be very sticky at this point, start adding more flour to the dough until it forms a soft ball (will be slightly sticky). Knead the dough on a floured surface (for about 4 minutes), adding more flour if it starts to feel sticky.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface, until it is large enough to fit in 12 inch circular pan; place on the greased pan.
- Drizzle dough with olive oil (a couple of tablespoons will do). Spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with a little oregano and garlic powder. Top with mozzarella slices.
- Bake pizza for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is a golden brown.
- Top with basil leaves and serve immediately.