Naples is (arguably) the home of the original pizza. What there can be no argument about, is the heavenly tastes and textures of a beautifully simple construction. The dough the consists of only (thankfully – compared to the unwanted additions found in industrial, commercial pizza crusts) four essential ingredients; flour, water, yeast, and salt. A sauce that is made from only freshly crushed tomatoes. Bright and flavorful basil leaves complement a few small slices of rich, and slightly stringy mozzarella. Quality ingredients and artisan’s touch yield the epitome of delicious and nutritious eats. Mass-produced, industrial assemblage of gas bloated one hour fermentation doughs, highly processed cheese, and sauces loaded with high fructose corn syrup, other sweeteners, and additives produce amongst the most unpleasant and unhealthful foods found in the modern Western diet. Could there be a more poignant example of our current food crisis than the lovely Margarita?
- 1 Neapolitan dough ball (approximately 260 g or roughly 9 ounces). See Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe
- Flour for shaping
- 120 – 140 g (approximately 4 – 5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 4 –5 freshly torn basil leaves
- Approximately 100 g (approximately 3 ½ ounces) fresh cow’s milk or buffalo mozzarella
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature (usually about 500°F for US ovens). If you are using a pizza stone, allow at least 30 to 45 minutes for the stone to preheat.
If the dough ball has been refrigerated, allow the dough to come up to room temperature before shaping. Placed some flour directly on the top of the dough ball. Then place the bottom of the dough ball on some flour which has been lightly placed on the working surface. Flip the dough ball over, and shape into an approximately 25 – 30 cm (approximately 10 – 12 inch) round.
Place the sauce in the center of the pizza round and with a spiral motion working from the center towards the edges evenly spread out the sauce. Top with torn basil leaves. Finish by topping with the cow’s milk mozzarella. Because of the different fat content of buffalo mozzarella, if you are using buffalo mozzarella place it on top of the pizza halfway through the cooking process. Cook until the edges are lightly browned, and the cheese has melted; approximately 10 to 12 minutes total.
Remove from the oven, cut into sections, and serve immediately.
Makes one 10 – 12 inch pizza
 If using buffalo mozzarella cut into approximately 1/2 cm thick slices and cut those in half lengthwise to achieve half-moon shaped pieces. For cow’s milk mozzarella, cut into rectangular strips.