Pizza Margherita

Pizza is a couple-of-times a month staple in our house.  It’s a quick and easy meal, and part of the fun of it is making our pizza dough! We’re all huge pizza enthusiasts in this household; so much so that we’ve probably bought from all of the pizza places columbia sc that we live around. However, these days I’m more into making pizzas of my own. The recipe I use for my pizza dough is so good and takes just minutes to prepare.  And I LOVE this style of pizza – light and garlicky, without a true tomato sauce, instead, it has slices of Roma tomatoes.  An authentic Margherita pizza is actually made by crushing the tomatoes into a sauce, but I love the look of the slices. 
Cool story – Pizza Margherita was named after Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples and she was served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag – the red is the tomatoes, white is the mozzarella, and green is the basil.  Basil was no where to be found at my local grocery store, so I did leave it off, replacing it with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning right before baking (which contains basil!).
I always leave my pizza just a little longer after the cheese has already melted.  I love it when the mozzarella gets golden brown and a little crispy.  
I used a pizza stone and made a round pizza, but this recipe will stretch out to a 9×13 or even 11×18 pan (depending on how thin you want your crust).  And I chose to cut my round pizza into squares so the little ones could eat it easier.  

 Pizza Magherita

Pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups shredded pizza cheese (or mozzarella)
3-4 slices of fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, let pizza stone get hot.  Roll out dough and place it on warmed stone.  Sprinkle with the olive oil and garlic and rub all over the dough (you can leave a border for the crust or go all the way out).  Top with the tomatoes, spaced evenly apart, then top with the shredded cheese, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic salt if using.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until all the cheese is melted and pizza dough is cooked.  Cut into slices or squares.