Pizza Margherita & Sliced Pepperoncini

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Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

I eat pizza several times a week.  It is economical, fun and has endless possibilities.  There is just no limit to how you can top them!  There will be MANY pizza recipes to follow but I thought I’d start with a classic, easy pizza.  In my pizza dough recipe – I mention investing in a bread machine.  I just drop the ingredients in it & press a button.  90 minutes later – I have a warm & perfectly soft pizza dough ready to be tuned into that day’s food porn.  The money saved eating pizza as often as I do will quickly justify the cost of the machine – which runs about $100 or less (  If you buy on Ebay – only buy from sellers with very high feedback scores & maybe be sure they are located in the US.  Also – be sure to add their shipping charges to the total cost before you click BUY.

Anyway – I will, no doubt, eventually bore you with my low cost pizza & pasta recipes but, until then, enjoy!


Pizza Margherita

For approximately one 12 inch round pizza

Preheat over to 450.  Always do this first.  I put my oven on midday – if I know I will be making pizza.  You want your oven at full temp before putting the pizza in.


1/4 – 1/3 already prepared pizza dough recipe ( – or other dough you might prefer to use.  YOu can use more or less dough – depending on the size of the pan you are using & also on how thick you like your crust.  I like mine VERY thin.

1-2 Roma or other tomatoes sliced very thin

Mozzarella cheese – either fresh buffalo mozzarella sliced VERY thin or a shredded (even mixed cheese) variety.  Cheese quantity is a personal taste thing.  I like less.  Some like more.  Know that fresh mozzarella is wetter & can hinder your efforts at a crisp crust.

3-4 TBS tomato sauce.  I LOVE Rao’s Arrabiata (  – but homemade or other store-bought is fine.

1 cup shredded fresh basil

olive oil

Pepperoncini – if you desire

Roll the dough out very thin on a floured surface until it is just larger than the pan you are using to cook it on.  Any thin, metal cookie sheet or pizza pan will work.  Pizza stones suck, in my opinion.  Don’t bother investing in them.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray or, preferably, wipe it with olive oil & a paper towel.

Place the dough on your pan.  Spread a very thin layer of tomato sauce on it & then top that with the sliced tomatoes & your cheese of choice.

Bake the pizza for about ten minutes – more or less depending on how thickly you topped the pizza & also on your oven’s calibration.  Eyeball it every five minutes until it looks done to you.  The crust should be just browned & the toppings should not look burned.

Sprinkle the shredded basil atop your pizza and serve with pepperoncini (or not).

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