Christian Petroni makes Neapolitan Pizza, as seen on Pizza Making Like a Pro on Food Network Kitchen.

Margherita Pizza

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 pizza
Many Margherita pizzas feature fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Mine uses a can of whole plum tomatoes, which I crush by hand and mix with olive oil and salt before spreading on my dough. To turn your oven into a makeshift pizzeria oven, heat a pizza stone at as high a temperature as your oven goes for at least an hour, then turn the oven to broil and cook your pizza.



Special equipment:
pizza stone 
  1. Place a pizza stone in the center rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F for 1 to 2 hours before you're ready to bake the pizza to get the stone nice and hot.
  2. Generously sprinkle a flat work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to stretch the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer the dough to the lightly floured pizza peel or unrimmed baking sheet so it can slide right onto the pizza stone in the oven. (I use the bottom of a baking sheet.) 
  3. In a large bowl, hand crush the tomatoes, drizzle in a little olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edges for the crust (my favorite part!). (Refrigerate the remaining sauce in an airtight container for up to 4 days.) Tear the mozzarella into pieces and layer all over the pie. Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil and drizzle with oil. 
  4. Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Use the peel or baking sheet to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. The heat from the stone will cook the bottom of the pizza and the boiler will char and cook the top, mimicking a Neapolitan pizza oven. Bake until the bottom is cooked and the top is charred, 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle with more olive oil, basil and Parmesan. Slice the hot pizza and serve immediately.