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Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe

Who can resist the temptation of a homemade tomato-basil pizza? The beauty of this dish lies not only in its delightful flavors but also in its simplicity. The ingredients are few and straightforward, with each element playing a crucial role in creating a symphony of taste. The tanginess of the tomatoes combines perfectly with the fragrant basil, all held together by the gooey mozzarella on a crispy pizza base.

Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe
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Photos of Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe

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Most of the ingredients needed for the tomato-basil pizza recipe are quite common and can be found in your pantry. However, if you're missing any, take note of the pizza dough and mozzarella. Not all supermarkets stock fresh pizza dough, and some might offer it frozen. As for the mozzarella, aim for the fresh variety instead of the processed version for a more authentic taste. The difference it brings to your pizza is immense.

Essential Ingredients for Tomato-Basil Pizza

Extra virgin olive oil: This oil will be used to cook garlic and red pepper flakes. It adds a flavorful base to our tomato sauce.

Garlic: Garlic is cooked until golden, adding a robust flavor to the sauce.

Red pepper: A pinch of red pepper flakes gives the sauce a hint of heat.

Plum tomatoes: These form the base of our pizza sauce. They are cooked down until they form a thick sauce.

Flour and cornmeal: These are needed for rolling out the pizza dough and preventing it from sticking.

Pizza dough: The base of our pizza. We'll roll it out to about 14 inches in diameter.

Mozzarella: This cheese melts beautifully, giving our pizza that beautiful, cheesy stretch.

Basil leaves: The finishing touch to our pizza. Basil leaves add a fresh, aromatic flavor that pairs brilliantly with the tomato sauce.

One reader, Bruno Turley says:

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This tomato-basil pizza recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so fresh and vibrant, and the combination of the juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, and gooey mozzarella is simply divine. The crust turns out perfectly crispy, and the whole process is a joy. I highly recommend trying it out!

Bruno Turley

Techniques Required for Making Tomato-Basil Pizza

How to prepare the tomato sauce: This involves heating olive oil in a saucepan, adding minced garlic and crushed red pepper, then simmering the crushed tomatoes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

How to roll out the pizza dough: On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin or your hands to roll or stretch the dough into a roughly 14-inch round.

How to assemble the pizza: Spread the tomato sauce onto the rolled-out dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Top with diced mozzarella and basil.

How to bake the pizza: Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 11 minutes at 500 degrees F, or until the crust is deep golden and the cheese is bubbling.

How to serve the pizza: Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

How To Make Tomato-Basil Pizza

Enjoy a healthier version of the classic comfort food with this tomato-basil pizza that comes with a deep golden crust and mozzarella cheese topping.

Preparation: 27 minutes
Cooking: 33 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • 1clovegarlic
  • 1pinchred pepper,crushed
  • 1plum tomatoes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • all purpose flour and cornmeal
  • 2lbspizza dough,fresh or frozen
  • ½lbmozzarella,fresh or smoked
  • 6basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Set a pizza stone or large inverted baking sheet on the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan.

  3. Add the minced garlic and cook over moderate heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly golden.

  4. Add the crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices.

  5. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then simmer the tomato sauce over moderate heat for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin or your hands, roll or stretch 1 pound of the dough into a roughly 14-inch round.

  7. Generously dust a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet with cornmeal and transfer the rolled-out dough to it. Make sure that the dough doesn’t stick to the sheet.

  8. Spread half of the tomato sauce onto the pizza leaving a ½-inch border.

  9. Top with half of the diced mozzarella.

  10. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 11 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden and the cheese is bubbling.

  11. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with half of the basil and serve immediately.

  12. Repeat with the remaining dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 415.44kcal
  • Fat: 12.04g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.94g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.02g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.99g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.09g
  • Fiber: 3.32g
  • Sugar: 1.45g
  • Protein: 16.56g
  • Cholesterol: 22.40mg
  • Sodium: 873.50mg
  • Calcium: 235.98mg
  • Potassium: 174.85mg
  • Iron: 3.62mg
  • Vitamin A: 55.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 1.28mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe

When preparing your pizza dough, it's crucial to let it rest for a few minutes after rolling it out. This allows the gluten to relax, making the dough easier to shape and resulting in a crust that's light and chewy, not tough. Also, don't forget to preheat your pizza stone in the oven. A hot stone ensures a crispy, well-cooked crust.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Pizza Recipe

Prepare the ingredients: Gather and prepare all the ingredients and tools needed before starting the recipe to streamline the cooking process.

Pre-made dough: Save time by using pre-made pizza dough from the store instead of making it from scratch.

Multi-task: While the dough is rising or the sauce is simmering, prepare the toppings or clean up the kitchen to make the most of your time.

Pre-shredded cheese: Opt for pre-shredded mozzarella cheese to eliminate the time-consuming task of grating the cheese yourself.

Batch cooking: Make a larger quantity of tomato sauce and freeze the extra for future use, saving time on sauce preparation for the next pizza night.

Preheat in advance: Preheat the oven and pizza stone while preparing the ingredients to cut down on overall cooking time.

Organize the workspace: Keep the kitchen organized and clean as you cook to avoid wasting time searching for tools or cleaning up clutter.

Substitute Ingredients For Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe

  • tomatoes - Substitute with red bell peppers: Red bell peppers have a similar sweet and slightly tangy flavor to tomatoes, and they add a vibrant color to the pizza.

  • basil leaves - Substitute with arugula: Arugula has a peppery flavor that can add a unique twist to the pizza, and it pairs well with the other ingredients.

Presenting Your Tomato-Basil Pizza

  1. Artfully drizzle the extra virgin olive oil: Use a delicate hand to drizzle the extra virgin olive oil in a graceful pattern over the finished pizza. This adds a touch of elegance and enhances the flavors of the dish.

  2. Garnish with fresh basil leaves: Carefully place the fresh basil leaves on top of the pizza, ensuring they are evenly distributed. The vibrant green color and aromatic fragrance will elevate the visual appeal of the dish.

  3. Present on a wooden pizza board: Serve the pizza on a rustic wooden pizza board to create a warm and inviting presentation. This adds a charming, artisanal touch to the overall dining experience.

  4. Accompany with a balsamic reduction: Drizzle a balsamic reduction in a decorative pattern around the edge of the pizza for a sophisticated and refined presentation. The sweet and tangy flavor will complement the savory elements of the dish.

  5. Use a pizza cutter for precise portions: Slice the pizza into equal portions using a sharp pizza cutter, ensuring clean and precise cuts for a professional presentation.

  6. Serve on individual wooden pizza peels: For an upscale and personalized touch, present each pizza on individual wooden pizza peels, allowing guests to enjoy their own beautifully presented serving.

  7. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper: Just before serving, delicately sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over the pizza to add a final touch of visual interest and a hint of aromatic flavor.

Essential Tools for Making Tomato-Basil Pizza

  • Pizza stone or large inverted baking sheet: A pizza stone or large inverted baking sheet is used to create a crispy crust for the pizza. It helps distribute heat evenly and ensures the bottom of the pizza cooks evenly.

  • Medium saucepan: A medium saucepan is used to cook the tomato sauce. It allows for even heating and simmering of the sauce.

  • Rolling pin: A rolling pin is used to roll out the pizza dough into a thin, round crust. It helps to achieve an even thickness for the dough.

  • Pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet: A pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet is used to transfer the pizza onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet. It allows for easy and safe transfer of the pizza into the oven.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is used to combine and mix the pizza dough ingredients. It is essential for kneading and allowing the dough to rise.

  • Food processor: A food processor can be used to make the pizza dough. It helps in mixing and kneading the dough efficiently.

  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is used to mince the garlic and chop the basil leaves. It is essential for preparing the ingredients for the pizza toppings.

  • Pizza cutter or sharp knife: A pizza cutter or sharp knife is used to slice the pizza into portions for serving. It ensures clean and precise cuts through the crispy crust and toppings.

Storing and Freezing Your Homemade Pizza

  • Allow the pizza to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy and the toppings from sliding off.

  • To store leftover pizza in the refrigerator, place the slices in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Properly stored, leftover pizza will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the pizza. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Label the container or bag with the date and contents. Frozen pizza will maintain its best quality for about 1 to 2 months.

  • To reheat refrigerated pizza, place the slices on a baking sheet and heat in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.

  • To reheat frozen pizza, unwrap the slices and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. You can also reheat frozen pizza slices in the microwave, but the crust may become soft and chewy.

  • For best results, consume frozen pizza within 1 to 2 months. After that, the quality may start to deteriorate, and the pizza may develop freezer burn or off-flavors.

How To Reheat Leftover Pizza

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover pizza slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. This method helps restore the crispiness of the crust while evenly heating the toppings.

  • If you prefer a softer crust, microwave the pizza slices on a microwave-safe plate for 30-60 seconds, or until heated through. To prevent the crust from becoming soggy, place a paper towel underneath the slices to absorb excess moisture.

  • For a crispy crust without using an oven, heat a skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the pizza slices in the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is melted. This method creates a crispy crust while melting the cheese and heating the toppings.

  • If you have a toaster oven, place the pizza slices directly on the rack or on a small baking sheet. Toast for 3-5 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. This method is quick and convenient, especially for reheating small amounts of leftover pizza.

  • For a unique twist, transform your leftover pizza into a pizza sandwich. Place a slice of pizza between two pieces of bread and cook in a panini press or on a griddle until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. This method creates a new and exciting dish from your leftover pizza.

Interesting Fact About Tomato-Basil Pizza

Tomato-basil pizza is a classic Italian dish that originated in Naples. It was originally a simple meal for the poor, made with basic ingredients such as tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Over time, it has become a beloved dish worldwide, with various toppings and variations.

Is Making Tomato-Basil Pizza at Home Cost-Effective?

This tomato-basil pizza recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, are affordable and readily available. The use of simple, fresh ingredients keeps the cost low while delivering exceptional flavor. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15, making it a budget-friendly meal option. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 9/10, considering its affordability, delicious taste, and ease of preparation.

Is This Pizza Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This tomato-basil pizza recipe, while delicious, may not be the healthiest choice due to a few factors:

  • The dough and cornmeal contribute to a high carbohydrate content, which can lead to blood sugar spikes and weight gain if consumed in excess.
  • Mozzarella cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, which can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure when consumed regularly.
  • The recipe lacks a significant source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for a balanced diet.

However, the recipe does include some healthy ingredients, such as:

  • Tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
  • Garlic, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
  • Basil, which is a good source of vitamin K and antioxidants.

To make this pizza recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use a whole wheat or gluten-free pizza crust to increase the fiber content and reduce the glycemic impact of the dough.
  • Reduce the amount of mozzarella cheese and add more vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, to increase the nutrient density of the pizza.
  • Use a low-fat or part-skim mozzarella cheese to reduce the saturated fat content.
  • Add a side salad or a serving of roasted vegetables to balance out the meal and provide additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Use a smaller portion of the pizza dough to make a thinner crust, which can help reduce the overall calorie and carbohydrate content of the meal.

By making these adjustments, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of a tomato-basil pizza while making it a more balanced and nutritious meal.

Editor's Opinion on This Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe

This tomato-basil pizza recipe is a classic and timeless combination of flavors. The use of fresh ingredients such as plum tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil elevates the dish, while the homemade tomato sauce adds a depth of flavor. The technique of preheating the oven with a pizza stone ensures a crispy crust, and the addition of red pepper gives a subtle kick. Overall, this recipe is a delightful and satisfying choice for a homemade pizza night.

Enhance Your Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Savory garlic breadsticks with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and herbs, served warm and crispy.
Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing, topped with crunchy croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.
Bruschetta: Toasted baguette slices topped with a flavorful mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and balsamic glaze.
Caprese Salad: Fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil drizzled with balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil.

Similar Recipes to Try

Creamy Mushroom Risotto: This creamy mushroom risotto is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of earthy mushrooms and creamy risotto rice makes for a satisfying meal.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Grilled lemon herb chicken is a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a summer barbecue. The zesty lemon and aromatic herbs add a burst of flavor to the juicy grilled chicken.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Mango coconut chia pudding is a tropical and healthy dessert that is great for a refreshing treat. The sweet mango and creamy coconut milk create a delicious and satisfying pudding.

Perfect Appetizers and Desserts for Tomato-Basil Pizza Night

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. These bite-sized appetizers are the perfect way to start any meal.
Bruschetta: Satisfy your guests' taste buds with crispy bruschetta topped with a vibrant mix of tomatoes, basil, and garlic. This classic Italian appetizer is a refreshing and delicious way to kick off any gathering.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and tangy goodness of a classic strawberry cheesecake, topped with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of strawberry coulis for a delightful and refreshing treat.

Why trust this Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe:

This tomato-basil pizza recipe is a trusted classic, perfected over time by a seasoned chef. The tomatoes are carefully selected for their freshness and flavor, while the mozzarella is of the highest quality, ensuring a rich and creamy texture. The basil is hand-picked for its aromatic essence, and the extra virgin olive oil adds a touch of richness. Each step is meticulously crafted, from the homemade tomato sauce to the perfectly baked crust on a hot pizza stone. This recipe guarantees a delightful, authentic Italian experience, making it a must-try for any pizza enthusiast.

Want to share your own twist on this classic Tomato-Basil Pizza Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the discussion!
FAQ:
Can I use pre-made pizza dough for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use pre-made pizza dough for this recipe. It's a convenient option and will work just as well.
Can I use dried basil instead of fresh basil?
While fresh basil is preferred for its vibrant flavor, you can use dried basil if that's what you have on hand. Just use it sparingly, as dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones.
Can I add other toppings to the pizza?
Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with your toppings. You can add ingredients like sliced bell peppers, onions, olives, or even some cooked Italian sausage to customize your pizza.
Can I make the tomato sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the tomato sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This can save you time when you're ready to assemble the pizza.
Can I bake the pizza without a pizza stone?
If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet instead. Just preheat the baking sheet in the oven and assemble the pizza on it before baking. The crust may be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.

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