Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Pizza Margherita, not pizza margarita. Here's Why...

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In Italy, it's Pizza Margherita. Most often, the rest of the world incorrectly names it after the drink, pizza margarita.

In fact, it is one of the earliest incarnation of the pizza as we know it. For centuries, in all corners of the world, mankind has been topping and flavoring bread. But it was the introduction of tomatoes from the Americas in the 1500's and the addition of cheese, not until the late 1800's that the modern pizza was born.

Here's the story...

In June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita," a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first baker ever to add cheese. So thank you Naples, Italians, Chef Esposito and my sincere apologies for calling your well thought out and constructed bread after a tequila drink.

So from now on, I will order a margarita to go with my pizza Margherita and toast to the pizza geniuses of yesteryear!

Do you see the Italian Flag in this...
Viva Italiano
And a Pizza Margherita is very easy to make (and among the most flavorful).

Here's what I did...


Crust (pre-made or make your own)
Pizza Sauce (pre-made or make your own)
Mozzarella cheese, I like the looks of the slices rather than grated
Fresh Basil (cut into strips)
a few splashes of Olive Oil
a sprinkling of fresh herbs such as Oregano, Chives, Thyme, whatever you like.
(I use my own mix of "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence")

Preheat oven and pizza stone (or heavy baking sheet) to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll your crust out on parchment paper to your likeness... Thin, Chewy or thick like a bread.
  • Brush Olive oil around the edges to get a beautiful Golden Brown and Delicious looking crust.
  • A nice layer of Tomato Sauce
  • Top with Mozzarella. be careful to leave some of the tomatoes showing so the pizza has that beautiful look.
  • Sprinkle herbs over the cheese.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and get that baked color.
  • top with the Basil strips and serve!
And that's it.  Very simple, few ingredients, but it is the pizza that started it all... For good reasons!

Pizza would be among anyone's "Top Five" Main Dishes, but honestly I make so many different pizzas, it deserves it's own "Top Five" category.  And of course a Pizza Margherita belongs on that list!


  1. Che bella questa pizza margherita. Noi in Sicilia abbiamo la rianata. I am following you from Rome!

  2. wow, loved to read the history behind it and the pizza just looks drool-worthy !!!

  3. Love to make pizza dough in my bread machine. We have homemade pizza almost every Sunday night. It started years ago with a Chef Boyardee boxed pizza dinner. Oh how far we have come. Sounds like a good topic for a post. Love your pizza Margherita Dave.

  4. I always think it's funny when italian restaurants get the spelling confused. But I also always love eating it! Pizza looks great!

  5. Thanks for the comment about The Pleasure of Your Company. The book is definitely one of those collector items, but well worth it. Are you watching the game? Just wondered because your comment came in about that time. Best to Jackie.

  6. Looks great Dave~My favorite way to eat pizza!