In Italy, it's Pizza Margherita. Most often, the rest of the world incorrectly names it after the drink, pizza margarita.
In fact, it is one of the earliest incarnation of the pizza as we know it. For centuries, in all corners of the world, mankind has been topping and flavoring bread. But it was the introduction of tomatoes from the Americas in the 1500's and the addition of cheese, not until the late 1800's that the modern pizza was born.
Here's the story...
In June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita," a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first baker ever to add cheese. So thank you Naples, Italians, Chef Esposito and my sincere apologies for calling your well thought out and constructed bread after a tequila drink.
So from now on, I will order a margarita to go with my pizza Margherita and toast to the pizza geniuses of yesteryear!
Do you see the Italian Flag in this...
And a Pizza Margherita is very easy to make (and among the most flavorful).
Crust (pre-made or make your own)
Tomatoes thinly sliced
Mozzarella cheese (grated)
Fresh Basil (cut into strips)
a few splashes of Olive Oil
a sprinkling of fresh herbs such as Oregano, Chives, Thyme, whatever you like.
(I use my own mix of "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence")
- Preheat oven and pizza stone (or heavy baking sheet) to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll your crust out on parchment paper to your likeness... Thin, Chewy or thick like a bread.
- Brush Olive oil around the edges to get a beautiful Golden Brown and Delicious looking crust.
- Line up the tomato slices so that they are almost touching each other.
- Top with Mozzarella. be careful to leave some of the tomatoes showing so the pizza has that beautiful look.
- Sprinkle herbs over the cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and get that baked color.
- top with the Basil strips and serve!