Pizza Margherita, Canadian Girl Style

SO many of my friends have been in Italy lately and taunting me with their endless pics of bare-bone cheese and tomato pizzas, with their crisp, wood-fired crusts and puddles of mozzarella atop what I can only  imagine to be the smoothest, sweetest, lightest, most tomatoey tomato sauce with pops of garlic here and there.

I had to have my own. So, tonight, in spite of having a perfectly good vegan chili pre-made and all lined up for supper, I also made a pizza.

Further enabling my indulgence in pizza with our already abundant meal of vegan chili was the presence of a big jar of passata, some mozza that really should be used up before we leave on vacation and the amazingly pungent Genovese basil growing in the garden right now. Curse my well-stocked kitchen! Curse it all to heck!

So I did that because it’s a pretty damned easy jealousy-fueled-hankering to satisfy and you can, too.

This recipe makes two 10 inch pizzas, but make only what you’ll eat in one sitting because it’s just so, so good right out of the oven and still great the next day, but not right-out-of-the-oven good. Additionally, most of the ingredients hold over well, so save half a dough ball for whipping up a pizza on a lark to impress your lover on your next Netflix and chill night, even if your lover is you. I probs wouldn’t want to share anyway.

What you need:

  • One batch lazy lady’s bun dough
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 cup passata
  • 1 260 g ball of mozzarella, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • Oil enough for greasing your pan(s)

What you do:

  1. Make your dough and let it rise. Punch the dough down and stretch it out into two disks on your pans. Don’t worry if they don’t stretch full across the pans. As they go through the second rise, they’ll likely hit it, but we’re not aiming for perfection in dough distribution. Just don’t use a rolling pin to stretch them out because you’ll press out a lot of the characteristics of the dough that make it so good for this purpose.
  2. Set the pans with the dough aside and let rise for another 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425.
  4. Mix the garlic with the olive oil and evenly distribute the mixture across the two doughs. I like to use a silicon basting brush for this because it gives me lots of coverage.
  5. Evenly distribute the oregano, chili flakes and salt over the two doughs, then do the same with the passata and then the mozzarella.
  6. Pop the pizzas onto the middle rack of the oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning the pans, as necessary, if your oven is wonky with uneven heat distribution, like mine.
  7. Turn the oven to broil and sprinkle the basil over the pizzas. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
  8. Eat without shame.






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