Classic Margherita Pizza.

Sometimes you just can’t beat fresh, simple, and classic Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza recipe hits the spot and is so easy to make!

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

The BEST Classic Margherita Pizza (recipe)

We’re back to the basics today.

Last Tuesday, we moved into our new house. After 12 hours on my feet and nothing but a few grapes and a handful of peanut M&Ms in my stomach (so many leftover), anything sounded good. We dashed to the nearest restaurant and found ourselves ordering appetizers and a five cheese + tomato pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.

I strayed from my favorite CPK pizza… very shocking.

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

I usually like pizza with a ton of fixings like salty gorgonzola cheese, honey, and apple. Seriously… try it. When I’m not making that particular pie, it’s usually this spinach artichoke number or my roasted veggie pizza.

And now all I want for breakfast today is pizza.

But after those incredible slices I had last week, my mind was set on making a fresh and simple pizza recipe at home. This classic margherita pizza recipe is like a regular cheese pizza… just all grown up. Look at all this beautiful basil! Man oh man, cheese pizza is so much better when you add a little freshness.

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

Despite how I feel about loading up my pizza toppings, less is definitely more when it comes to margherita pizza. This pizza is the best blend of easy and satisfying. Plain and simple, it just tastes GOOD. Fulfilling, without too much grease and gunk weighing you down. A slice or two with a salad makes one heck of a meal. Pair with a little wine and invite me over. Please?

I always use my favorite pizza dough when I make pizza. Which is more often than I care to share. It’s soft and fluffy in the center and crisps up beautifully on the edges. It tastes buttery and rich even though there is no butter used. It’s just an all around basic pizza crust recipe and has quickly become a reader favorite. The best part? You can make the dough in advance. My freezer is currently home to about 5 homemade pizza doughs.

Guess what? I have a whole wheat pizza crust recipe too. A honey-sweetened whole wheat pizza crust that is soft and flavorful. For the record, I loathe bland whole wheat crust. Feel free to use my actually-yummy-tasting-whole-wheat-dough instead of my regular version for today’s pizza recipe.

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

Besides the dough, there are only 4-5 ingredients here. Use homemade roasted garlic. Your favorite homemade tomato sauce – not too much, remember. Good quality mozzarella. Fresh, plump, juicy tomatoes. Lots of fresh basil… and bonus if it’s from your garden. Season with fresh ground pepper. That’s all.

If you’re having a pizza night soon (tonight! tonight!), this simple and perfect classic margherita pizza has to be on the menu.

 

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Classic Margherita Pizza

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza recipe hits the spot and is so easy to make!

Yield: one 12-inch pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe homemade pizza crust
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced (or any tomato you like)
  • handful of fresh basil
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare the pizza dough through step 11, including preheating the oven to 475F as described in step 8.

Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. After waiting 15 minutes as described in step 11, spread olive oil/garlic mixture on top of crust. Top with pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. For the last minute, I move the oven rack to the top rack to really brown the edges. That's optional.

Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices may be frozen up to 1 month.

Please see homemade pizza crust recipe for how to make ahead and freeze the pizza dough.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

 

Try a few of my other favorite pizza recipes next.

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

Caramelized Apple Gorgonzola Pizza

Caramelized Apple Gorgonzola Pizza

 

Spinach Artichoke White Cheese Pizza

Spinach Artichoke White Cheese Pizza by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Homemade Extra Cheese Pizza

Homemade Extra Cheese Pizza

 

See more savory recipes. Enjoy your new favorite pizza recipe!

Sometimes you just can't beat a classic like fresh and simple Margherita Pizza. This homemade pizza crust with fresh toppings hits the spot!

 

 

 

   

74 Responses to “Classic Margherita Pizza.”

  1. #
    1
    Caleyposted July 15, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Sally, this is absolutely my favorite kind of pizza…tomato sauce, tomatoes, and garlic! So amazing :) Your photographs are great…they make me crave pizza, and it’s too early even for breakfast, haha. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Pizza for breakfast… I’m not judging!!!

      Reply

      • thomas cappielloreplied on August 4th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

        I had an Italian aunt in CT that made pizza for breakfast. Great way to start the day.

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    Averie @ Averie Cooksposted July 15, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Sally this pizza looks delish! I love marg pizza (and okay, margaritas too :)) but this looks so tasty. The basil is so green, vibrant, and for me basil/tomatoes/mozz and any form of a caprese salad and I’m very happy1 pinned

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      I knew you would love this pizza Averie! Simple and fresh.

      Reply

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    Laura @ Raise Your Gardenposted July 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Hot or cold, pizza for breakfast is the best! Hope your move went well, it’s a great workout minus the PB M&M’s.

    This pizza looks scrumptious. I could pound it right now! Basil is my ultimate weakness, soooo nutritious and growing tons in my garden right now. So I don’t have to scrimp. Would love to share with everyone =)

    Simple and easy, you can’t beat it. And kids love pizza, don’t they?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      This pizza is a crowd pleaser – even for kids. And I love margherita pizza cold. :) Send me some of your fresh basil! I need a basil plant in our yard ASAP.

      Reply

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    Mirposted July 15, 2014 at 6:54 am

    For the record, I love your Gorgonzola pizza. I’d never drizzled honey on pizza before you, and now I can’t stop!
    CPK’s tricked out pizzas are awesome! Still, sometimes basics are best. Love the vibrant tomatoes and basil here!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Honey is the BEST pizza topping. Just had it on some pizza this past weekend. I now put it on all my pizzas too, Mir! Too funny I got you hooked on it.

      Reply

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    Maryea {happy healthy mama}posted July 15, 2014 at 7:05 am

    I have a ton of CSA tomatoes sitting in my pantry, waiting to be used. I think I just found their destination! This looks fabulous.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Let me know how you like it, Maryea!

      Reply

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    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitnessposted July 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I love me a pizza with all the fixin’s too…but sometimes you just need to keep
    ‘er simple, like in this gorgeous ‘za! Love how fresh this is! Pinned :)

    Reply

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    Hayleyposted July 15, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I know what you mean about liking pizza with lots of toppings on it. My favourite pizza has roasted eggplant & zucchini, spinach leaves, sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper! But sometimes the simplest things are the best. Er… Least when it comes to pizza

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      I love roasted eggplant on pizza! It’s so, so good. Oh and sun-dried tomatoes too. So good!

      Reply

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted July 15, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Such a classic flavour – and your pizza looks perfect!

    Reply

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    Medha @ Whisk & Shoutposted July 15, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Tomato + basil + mozzarella is simply epic. Yum!

    Reply

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    Jennaposted July 15, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I just love this pizza. Tomatoes and basil are always growing in my garden for this reason!

    Reply

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    Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spiceposted July 15, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Margherita pizza is one of my favorites, and this one looks delicious, Sally! Definitely a classic flavor that will never get old. Delish!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Yup – margherita pizza will never get old for me! I can’t get enough, especially in the summer.

      Reply

  12. #
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    Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolateposted July 15, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Ooh this looks so good! I might have just found the winning way to use up my garden produce!

    Reply

  13. #
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    Becca @ Amuse Your Boucheposted July 15, 2014 at 8:50 am

    This looks just perfect! I love fancy toppings, but sometimes you can’t beat a classic. And I’ll totally join you for pizza for breakfast ;)

    Reply

  14. #
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    Lynnposted July 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Margherita pizza is my F.A.V. kind of pizza. I think it’s the basil. I could eat a basil salad, I think. Ok, maybe not. Either way… Now I want pizza for lunch. And that’s not allowed because we were on vacation for a week and ate a ton of Grotto’s Pizza. Maybe after my week of regularly scheduled healthy eating… Because this sounds delightful!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      I LOVE GROTTO’S PIZZA! Sorry, I’m just a little excited. You have to try this homemade margherita pizza Lynn. It’s perfect for your basil loving self.

      Reply

  15. #
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    Barbaraposted July 15, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Congrats on your move! This pizza looks amazing…i cant wait to try it once i move in with my fiance…pizza nights have been on our wishlist of things to do together!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      pizza nights will soon become your favorite nights. :) Good luck on your move Barbara!

      Reply

  16. #
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    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchenposted July 15, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Such a simple classic – always the best!

    Reply

  17. #
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    Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blogposted July 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

    This sounds yummy! I have some fresh tomatoes…might just make me some of this goodness.

    Reply

  18. #
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    shehlaposted July 15, 2014 at 9:25 am

    OMG! this is hevean! love this recipe <3 last time i made the BBQ chicken pizza and i was oh so good…. you should post more pizza recipes!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      I know, I should. ;) I have a few more pizza recipe ideas up my sleeve!

      Reply

  19. #
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    mjposted July 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Ohh, this looks so good! I love pizza, especially homemade ones, and this one looks delicious! And like you said, light, not greasy. I will definitely be trying this soon! :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Let me know how you like it MJ!

      Reply

  20. #
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    Stephposted July 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Wow Sally! This margherita pizza looks amazing! Its essential to have a no-fail pizza crust recipe and I think I just found another one!

    Reply

  21. #
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    Melposted July 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Nice one Sally! I have only made my own pizzas a couple of times, must do that more often. Beautiful shots, as usual. Mel

    Reply

  22. #
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    Liz S.posted July 15, 2014 at 9:49 am

    EXCELLENT, fresh pizza variety! And congratulations on the move!

    Reply

  23. #
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    Janie Lynnposted July 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    ooh . . . I love pizza and what couldn’t be better than margherita sauce?! The combination of course! Sally, I love how gourmet and professional {and yummy!} your pizzas look. Any tips?

    Now I’m hungry for pizza, especially after just coming home from a run! Thanks for posting, Sally!

    From your whole food-y!
    Janie Lynn

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Just follow the recipe and your pizza will be just as fabulous. Enjoy!

      Reply

  24. #
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    Kathyposted July 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Now I want pizza for breakfast!

    Reply

  25. #
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    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)posted July 15, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Oh yeah girl! That seriously looks so fantastic!!

    Reply

  26. #
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    elleposted July 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I’m growing basil now, I will definitely have to try this!

    Reply

  27. #
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    Alexis @ Upside Down Pearposted July 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I love margherita pizzas and this one looks super delicious! You can go wrong with tomatoes, basil, and cheese :) I definitely need to get my butt in gear and start making my own dough!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Homemade dough is 89374536593657839x better. ;) You have to try it Alexis! Let me know when you do.

      Reply

  28. #
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    Elizabethposted July 15, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Margherita pizza is such a classic! Perfect for summer when the basil is exploding in the garden and the tomatoes are fresh, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Hope you try it Elizabeth!

      Reply

  29. #
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    Annie @ Annie's Nomsposted July 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

    This is beautiful! I totally agree that sometimes basics are best and I’m continually surprised by how much fresh basil transforms dishes :D Now I want pizza haha!

    Reply

  30. #
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    Linda @ Veganosityposted July 15, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Ok, I’ll admit it, I miss the cheese on a pizza Margherita, and this looks so yummy! Fortunately, I’ve discovered how to make a fantastic vegan version, although, it’s still not quite the same.

    Fresh basil from the garden does taste better! I just read an article in one of my foodie magazines about how the head chef at The Laundry only picks herbs fresh from the garden just before adding them to his food. I must agree, that is the BEST way to do it.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I agree – it is the best way.

      Reply

  31. #
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    PassTheKnifeposted July 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I want your pizza right now! Your crust looks golden and delicious and I love that you were generous with the basil.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Always, always generous with basil. It’s my favorite.

      Reply

  32. #
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    Katya @ Little Brokenposted July 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good pizza dough recipe! Perfect timing. Pizza looks so colorful!

    Reply

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    Polly @ Tasty Food Projectposted July 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    This is definitely something I would love! Basil and tomatoes together sounds so delicious!

    Reply

  34. #
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    Amy @ Amy's Healthy Bakingposted July 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    YAY!! I’m so happy you and Kevin got moved in okay, although that sounds like a stressfully long day. You definitely deserved dinner out! It’s awesome how going out to eat often inspires lots of recipes in our own kitchens, and with how hard you worked to get your pizza dough & pizza recipes perfect, I bet your margherita pizza was even better than CPK’s! :)

    Reply

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    Laurposted July 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I still remember you posted the gorgonzola pizza recipe the day after I was trying to convince my friends it was the best combination. I guess stinky cheese isn’t for everyone? Crazy!

    I’m sure they would like this pizza, though, especially with a glass of Rose!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 16th, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I am obsessed with that pizza Laur and I am so happy you love it too!

      Reply

  36. #
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    Jemmaposted July 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    It looks delicious! Definitely going to make

    Reply

  37. #
    37
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cookingposted July 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    The BBQ Chicken is my favorite CPK pizza too…and the BBQ Chicken chopped salad…I see a trend here.
    But way to branch out! Sometimes nothing beats a classic! This looks delicious! It’s been way too long since I’ve had pizza

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 16th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Man oh man, I love their BBQ chicken salad! I have to recreate it at home asap.

      Reply

  38. #
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    Danaposted July 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Homemade pizza is the best. It’s a lot easier than I thought. Can’t wait to try this, Sally!

    Reply

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    Jessica @ Sweet Menuposted July 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Wow pizza too! Your amazing!

    Reply

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    Christineposted July 16, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Oooo, this makes my mouth water – looks so delicious! And isn’t it the truth, sometimes simpler just tastes better?!

    I’ve been using your pizza dough and methods for months – love it! We make a pizza from scratch every Saturday…and sometimes Sunday too (oops!). :-)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 16th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Saturday and Sunday pizza with my pizza crust… I don’t blame you! Can I come over? Your weekends sound more fun than mine!

      Reply

      • Christinereplied on July 16th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        Soon your weekends won’t be quite so busy and you can make pizza all the time too. In the interim, you can come over but you have to bring Oreo Cake. Or pie. ;-)

  41. #
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    Aislinn @ Cakes 'n Chaosposted July 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Oooh, this looks great. I love making homemade pizzas, they just taste AMAZING!

    Reply

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    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Lifeposted July 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I love making homemade pizzas! (Which I’m sure I’ve told you already…) and one of my favourite combinations definitely has to be the classic margherita :) Especially in the height of summer when the tomatoes are bursting with sweet freshness.
    I hope the unpacking is nearly finished, or at least at a manageable level now :)

    Reply

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted July 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

    You can never go wrong with a classic, love this pizza!

    Reply

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    Helen @ Scrummy Laneposted July 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Nice, Sally! I recently wrote about the best pizza I ever had, which was in Naples, Italy, and it was a plain margherita pizza. Beautiful! I love that you spread the olive oil and garlic on the crust first of all. Great tip! :-)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 18th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      I’ve been to Naples before Helen! I have to read your article on it. They truly do have the BEST pizza.

      Reply

  45. #
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    Shelby S http://bellabakes.netposted July 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is my favorite pizza flavor! We have an overload of tomatoes and basil from our garden and this recipe would help us burn through both for sure! :)

    Reply

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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress)posted July 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    1-congrats on the move!! I hope it’s all going well!

    2–I love how classic this pizza is-Margherita is one of my faaaaves

    Reply

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    Mary Francesposted July 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    I am so bummed I never tried margherita pizza. My life is pretty much incomplete! If you weren’t the cookie queen already, I would dub you the pizza queen too :)

    Reply

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    Stephanieposted July 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’ve been browsing your site for a while now, I have to say THE absolutely best food blog EVEEEERRRRR!!!!

    Reply

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    Emily @ Life on Foodposted July 24, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Call me boring but I love the classic margherita pizza. This is my favorite.

    Reply

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    thomas cappielloposted August 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    It took me nearly 50 years of pizza eating, but I have only fairly recently concluded that the Margherita is the quintessential pizza. It has become the standard by which I judge all new pizzerias. Its all about that magic complementary balance of flavors, and using the best ingredients.
    BTW, I can’t wait to try your chocolate chip cookies, because that is my most favorite cookie of all time, and I have not gotten past that famous recipe on the back of that certain chip brand that I won’t mention for success.

    Reply

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    Shani Mendietaposted November 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    OMG! I never post , and now I HAVE too this is theBEST pizza dough I have ever made! Amazing CPK copy!!! I am a former Cali girl now living in rural Mexico , where I have to MAKE everything from scratch , and this pizza is divine , ,y family is flipping out devouring it… I have made 6 if your recipes so far and they have ALL been divine! You so Rock!
    Muchas gracias!!!!!!

    Reply

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