(AKA the best pizza I've ever had in my entire life. No joke.)
I'm dead serious when I say this really is the best pizza I've ever had. I was shocked at how delicious it was. My husband wasn't home so I sent some over to the neighbors before I ate it all. Because I honestly would have. Only one of my kids didn't love it and she's the one who would prefer a bowl of cardboard over anything with flavor.
Here is how it began... (Skip down to the recipe if you can't stand my ramblings.... I won't be offended. Just don't expect a Christmas present from me this year. Because I'll know. Oh trust me, I will.)
We are in week 2 of summer vacation and my kids have been destroying my house and each other. Yesterday the bad energy peaked and my daughters behaved the worst I have ever seen. I think they were practicing their audition for American Gladiators. The best part was when they ran into their room and the volume hit jet engine intensity. Mckenna started screaming, "NOOO! DON'T, EMMA! NOOOO!" I found out later that Emma had bit Mckenna's Pillow Pet. The nerve. I love that the worst possible thing she could do was slobber and crunch on a stuffed monkey. We had to get out of the house.
So we headed down to our local library for story time. The theme for the day was "From Pisa to Pizza." We learned all about Italy. We heard cute stories, learned a few Italian words, made Carnivale masks, and the kids got to try a small piece of pizza. All with no fighting. Not a pillow pet in sight.
When we got back in the car, I was dreading returning home. Sitting in the driver's seat, waiting for my kids to buckle, I tried to think of a fun activity, using the knowledge we'd just gained. Then I remembered the story we learned about how the Margherita Pizza came to be. All we needed was fresh basil, so we headed to the local market and then rushed home for some fun pizza making. And this amazing creation was born. And my kids were happy. And their mom was happy. And their home was peaceful. And smelled really yummy.
I used my perfect crust recipe as the base. Just click the linkie. It's foolproof and fantastic.
This recipe makes two large pizzas. You can half it if you're chicken. Or smart.
1 recipe for Perfect Pizza Dough - make all the way to the resting stage
6 Roma tomatoes
4 whole garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese - I would recommend slicing fresh mozzarella, but we only had shredded and it worked beautifully.
15-20 fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat pizza stone in oven at 500 degrees for 1 hour. After dough has rested for just over an hour, wash and slice tomatoes into 1/4" slices. Set in a medium bowl with minced garlic, olive oil, and salt. Let rest 15 minutes.
3. Let kids sprinkle half of cheese all over crust. Top with half of tomatoes and basil leaves. Brush tops of basil leaves with tomato marinade to keep from burning.
4. Carefully slide pizza onto hot pizza stone. Cook approximately 10 minutes, until edges are just golden. Repeat with second pizza crust.
P.S. If you live in a hotter summer climate, skip preheating the oven, and just slide this on a hot BBQ. Keeps your house cool, and you can still enjoy this dish!