Simple to make and an amazingly tasty, classic homemade thin crust Tomato Mozzarella Pizza. The basil leaves and freshly ground pepper take the pizza to another dimension. Try a variant with different toppings, taking you to Pizza Heaven! With tomato basil sauce (link to recipe is given below and in the ingredients list in the recipe) the pizza is so easy to put together.
I make pizza dough once every 2-3 weeks and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. Similarly with the tomato basil sauce – I always have some of it in the freezer. Weekends, I like to make pizza, and it takes just a few minutes to roll out the base (after the dough has come to room temperature), spread some sauce, top with tomatoes, peppers, mushroom, olives, depending on the combination of toppings I decide on, sprinkle cheese on top. In my oven when I bake the pizza at 240 deg C, it takes 10 -12 minutes for the thin crust pizza to be ready.
The Tomato Mozzarella Pizza is a near variant of the Pizza Margherita. The only reason I have not used the latter name is because after baking, the cheese looks more orange/ yellow than white, perhaps because it took a longer time to bake, than usual. A typical Pizza Margherita would have 3 colours – Red from the Tomato, White from the Mozzarella and Green from the Basil, together forming the colours of the Italian Flag. The story goes, according to Wikipedia, that pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen preferred the pizza swathed in the colours of the Italian flag.
The Tomato Mozzarella Pizza does have all the 3 components of a Pizza Margherita, viz, Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato. In the original Neapolitan Pizza (the name is now protected in the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish), the tomatoes used were the San Marzano Tomatoes. I do get San Marzano tomatoes for my Tomato Mozzarella Pizza as well as the Tomato Basil Sauce, when at Bangalore, from First Agro Farms, who supply zero pesticide, non GMO produce.
Ingredients below are for one large thin crust pizza which serves 2 people.
Links to Recipes for Pizza Dough and Basil Tomato Sauce, from this blog:
You might also like to try this Recipe for Kale and Onion Pizza:
Homemade Thin crust tomato mozzarella pizza
- 1 portion Basic Pizza Dough - Click the link for recipe
- 1 tablespoons Tomato Basil Sauce - Click the link for recipe
- 12 slices tomato - Thin round slices
- 3 tablespoons Mozzarella Cheese - Grated
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper - Freshly Ground
- to taste salt
- A few basil leaves - Dry basil if fresh is not available
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano - Optional - for seasoning
Preparation for Tomato Mozzarella Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 240 deg C/465 deg F. If the oven will not heat up to this temperature, preheat to the maximum temperature permissible. If using a Pizza stone, place the same in the oven, to heat, while you get the pizza ready to bake.
- Slice tomatoes to thin round slices, using firm ripe tomatoes. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and ground pepper and keep aside. Shred the cheese into bits.
To shape and make the Pizza
- Make the dough into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough into a circle, pulling it with your hands, and then rolling it out, until you get a round of about 25cm/ 10" round and about 3mm/ 1/4" thick except for the edges which may be slightly thicker. I recently made a rectangular shaped pizza as the oven available was narrow and rectangular.
- Place the dough carefully on a baking tray or well floored wooden Pizza peel. This is the tricky part. I use a non stick reusable pizza mesh, which is very convenient, as I place the pizza base directly on the mesh, arrange the sauce and toppings and then straight away put the mesh in the oven.
- Brush the surface lightly with a little garlic oil or olive oil and spread a table spoon of tomato sauce. Arrange the tomato slices on the sauce and lay pieces of cheese in between the slices.
- Transfer from the Pizza peel to the Pizza Stone or else place the baking tray or pizza mesh in the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes till the edges and top begin to brown and the cheese has completely melted. If it is not done, continue to bake for upto another 5 minutes, till the edges brown. Garnish with Basil leaves and oregano, slice and serve hot.