This is pizza at its purest perfection, as it is encountered in Italy or on the French Rivera. The toppings are simple but the result is anything but! For perfect pizza dough try The Art of Making the Perfect Pizza Dough!
- 1 lb plum tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped or
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz.)
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 basic pizza dough, recipe The Art of Making the Perfect Pizza Dough
- 1 -2 tablespoon cornmeal, for sprinkling on baker's peel
- 6 -8 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 garlic clove, split to rub on crust (optional)
- Put pizza stone on oven floor if using a gas oven; on the lowest rack if using electric oven (remove all other racks in either case).
- Preheat oven to highest temperature (500). Allow about 1 hour to preheat the stone.
- Prepare the Topping:.
- Combine tomatoes, salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup (10-15 minutes). Tranfers to bowl to cool.
- Toss together mozzarella and remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
- Shape the dough: See Recipe #236785.
- Assemble and bake the pizza:.
- Sprinkle baker's peel with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Carefully slide dough onto peel, then jerk peel once or twice: If dough sticks, lift it and sprinkle a little more cornmeal underneath.
- Optional: rub slit clove of garlic over dough.
- Spread tomato sauce evenly over dough, leaving 1/2 inch border and top sauce with mozzarella.
- Line up far edge of peel with far edge of stone and tilt peel, jerking it gently to start pizza moving. When edge of pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to transfer pizza to stone (do not pull pizza back).
- Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 8 minutes. Slide peel under pizza to remove from oven, then scatter basil leaves on top.