Saturday, May 25, 2013

Around the World in Food Month, Pizza Margherita and Beautiful Rome…

Italian Pizza
     Traveling is always so much fun, but usually so much work too!.  Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after getting back from vacation?  One of the places that Mr. Love From Scratch and I went was Rome, Italy.  I loved Rome, and we were able to see some interesting things during our time there.  Every where we looked we saw pizzerias and gelato shops.  I was lucky, and had some AMAZING gelato while I was there.  Sadly, I was unable to have the pizza.  I couldn’t find gluten-free pizza in the places we went to, so I didn’t have any.  Mr. Love From Scratch however, was able to indulge in some authentic Italian pizza. 
     I am trying so hard to learn how to fix my favorite dishes gluten free, and I am realizing just how much gluten I have consumed all my life.  I have a list of items that I am trying to learn to cook gluten free, one of the top items on my list is pizza dough.  Now not to brag (but I will anyway) I can make a pretty mean thin crust pizza dough.  Sadly that dough is pretty laden with gluten, so I have to create a new recipe  Once I feel like I come up with a quality dough recipe I will share it with you.
     I tend to be pretty simplistic in my pizza tastes, I don’t like my pizza loaded with tons of ingredients, and I hate it when my pizza tastes full of chemicals and additive.  I think the Italians have the perfect idea with their Pizza Margherita, it is delicious.  It is simple pure ingredients, but perfect.  You’ll notice that the recipe doesn’t call for any meat, you can certainly add it if you want, but try it once this way.  I think you’ll find this is perfect just as it is.
     This is the most common pizza that I make, especially during the summer when I can get fresh garden tomatoes, and fresh basil from the farmers markets.  This recipe is absolute perfection in a pizza.     While you can substitute ingredients, the fresher the ingredients you use the better, since it is so simple the beauty lies in the quality of the ingredients.
     I love this recipe, and this will be the first pizza I make once I can get the hang of gluten free pizza dough, and I am already having my mouth water thinking of it!
Love From Scratch Pizza Margherita
pizza dough (you can can use pre-made or whatever recipe you prefer for your dough)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
¾ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick (you can use shredded, but fresh will be FAR superior)
salt & pepper to taste
2 cloves minced garlic                                                                                                             20-25 fresh basil leaves, I usually chiffonade them into ribbons. (add according to your taste)
Directions: Prepare the pizza dough according to your desired recipe, or if using pre-made lightly mist the pre-made dough with olive oil.  I personally like this pizza best with a super thin crust pizza dough.  Place the dough on top and arrange alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella to cover the dough, leaving a thin border around the edge. Sprinkle the pizza lightly with salt and scatter some of the basil over it. Drizzle a little of the remaining olive oil over the cheese.  Scatter the minced garlic over the pizza.  Bake at 400 degrees until the bottom is lightly brown, usually 11-13 minutes.

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