Inspired by the original Margherita pizza from Naples, this version features a spicy red sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and a sprinkling of fresh basil. Use a gentle hand while rolling this thin crust. If the dough tears, just gather it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes before re-rolling. Place the dough in the refrigerator for its first rise to ensure the crust stays thin.
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
How to Make It
To prepare dough, dissolve honey and yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Position one oven rack in the middle setting. Position another rack in the lowest setting, and place a rimless baking sheet on the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 500°.
Roll dough into a 13-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a rimless baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Brush oil over dough. Remove preheated baking sheet from oven; close oven door. Slide dough onto preheated baking sheet, using a spatula as a guide. Bake on lowest oven rack at 500° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
Spread Spicy Pizza Sauce in an even layer over crust, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Combine mozzarella and ricotta; sprinkle evenly over sauce. Top with Parmesan. Bake on middle rack an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese melts. Sprinkle with basil. Cut into 8 wedges.
Really liked it. The ricotta added a nice flavor. I did add more mozzarella and Parmesan than the recipe called for (hey I love cheese). The sauce was good, but even my husband thought the spice was a little overpowering. Next time I'll halve the red pepper.
Overall, I loved this pizza. The sauce is amazing, as is the crust. The only thing that I did not love is the ricotta cheese. I think that it would have been better without it. It added a texture that I did not like. So my suggestion is leave out the ricotta and add a little more mozzerella.
I am actually very impressed at how good the pizza turned out! I'll probably roll the dough thinner next time, but it still tasted great. After I laid down the sauce, I put small dollops of ricotta, small pieces of mozzarella, and cut up about 2 slices of salami. Everything came together really well!
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