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Categories: Main courses, Vegetarian

Pizza Margherita with Marinara Sauce

Pizza is described in one dictionary as a "baked, open-faced pie consisting of a thin layer of dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese." In which century was that written? Somebody has to tell them about Thai barbecue chicken. By ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes plus preparation time for dough | Makes 2 pizzas, 4 servings each
Note: Save the leftover Marinara Sauce for another use.

Basic Pizza Dough

  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees), divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Step 1Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/2 cup of the water and set aside until foamy.

Step 2In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup warm water, the olive oil and yeast mixture. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, and salt mixing until the dough begins to come together in a ball. Spoon the dough onto a floured board and knead it until it's smooth, elastic and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. It is then ready to use.

Marinara Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Step 1Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onions, bell pepper, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2Add the tomatoes with the liquid, the red wine, oregano, basil, parsley and sugar. Bring the sauce to a boil, cover and simmer until it's thick, about 30 minutes.

Step 3Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer it to a bowl to cool, cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside. Makes 3 cups.

Assembly

  • Basic Pizza Dough
  • Cornmeal
  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. Roll 1 ball out on a floured board into a thin circle, about 12 to 14 inches in diameter.

Step 2Dust a round pizza baking pan or baking sheet with cornmeal and slip the rolled dough onto the prepared pan.

Step 3Spoon 1 cup of sauce in a thin coating on the pizza, spreading it with the back of a spoon to within 1 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the pizza generously with half the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over the top. Repeat with the second ball and ingredients to make a second pizza.

Step 4Bake the pizzas in batches on the lowest rack of the oven until the crust is crisp and brown and the cheese is hot and bubbling, 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Each of 8 servings:
506 calories; 723 mg sodium; 27 mg cholesterol; 22 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 58 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 5.26 grams fiber.
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