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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Pizza Margherita, Fancified Cooking View

At this time of year, our garden is bursting with produce. Unfortunately since we don’t have the space to have a massive garden a la Ina Garten, the bits of produce coming in are a random hodge podge.  Nearly every day, I pick a few handfuls of tomatoes, a couple of future pickles, and a pepper or two.  I just don’t have the kind of mass harvests I dream of for making huge batches of tomato sauce from my own garden.  Maybe someday, but not yet.  (That’s okay though – we pick up mass quantities of organic tomatoes from the farmers market and play pretend.  It’s all good.)

I’ve been promising Andrew since spring when we planted our garden that we would make a pizza with our tomatoes and basil, and we have made a few traditional margherita pizzas this year.  A couple of weeks ago I wanted that, but better.*  I was also randomly craving pasta a la vodka when suddenly these two ideas combined and it hit me how totally fabulous a pizza could be with a tomato cream sauce.  Like, woah.  I ended up skipping the vodka since we were out and just made a simple tomato cream sauce.  Rather than topping with fresh tomatoes I used oven roasted tomatoes since, you know, I put them in everything.  (Yet another recipe coming next week, just FYI.)  Though I may not have buckets of fresh tomatoes, I do have enough to roast for a fab pizza.  As you might imagine if you love tomato cream sauce, oven roasted tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and oh yes, PIZZA as I do, this was nothing short of spectacular.  Still simple, but just better.  I adore this pizza.

*For the authenticity police who will exclaim no! This is not pizza margherita…I know, and I’m okay with that.

Pizza Margherita, Fancified
Yield: 1 medium (12-14 inch) pizza

Ingredients

For the sauce: 
1¼ cups drained canned whole tomatoes, liquid reserved*
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup heavy cream

To assemble: 
Pizza dough for 1 large pizza (regular or whole grain)
Olive oil, for brushing
4-6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded**
1-2 oz. Parmesan, grated
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, roasted (small romas also work well)
¼-½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Cooking View

Directions

  • To make the sauce, add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if necessary to smooth the mixture out.  Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook about 1 minute, until it begins to soften.  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes and mix just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato mixture, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.

  • To make the pizza, increase the oven temperature to 500˚ F and preheat a pizza stone for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round.  Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil.  Spread with an even layer of the tomato cream sauce.  (You may have a little extra.  Never fear, it makes a perfect dipping sauce for the crusts.)  Sprinkle the mozzarella in an even layer over the sauce, and sprinkle the Parmesan over that.  Dot the oven roasted tomatoes evenly over the cheese.

  • Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chopped basil over the top of the pizza.  Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

  • *I know this is kind of an annoying measurement since it uses part of a can.  Sorry.  But, you can increase the batch to compensate and use as a dipping sauce or, you know, eating with a spoon.

    **For best results, always use freshly shredded cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.

Source

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    My garden is the same way. Here and there we get some really good produce. Pizza is a perfect use. This one looks fabulous.

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura @ Tide & Thyme

    You know, I was on here yesterday browsing around and thought to myself – not only is she the queen of cupcakes, she’s the queen of roasted tomatoes too! You’ve totally converted me, chica. Can’t wait to try this spin on pizza night!

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    Beautiful! I wish I had a garden, but sadly I do not. Oh well, the grocery store has had some really awesome grape tomatoes lately that would be perfect for this!! It looks so good!

  • http://www.nataliecottrell.blogspot.com/ Natalie {Use Your Words, Littl

    Ya-hum! Thank goodness we are eating Italian tonight because I am now jonesing for some tomato and basil goodness. This recipe looks fantastic!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I may or may not want to eat this entire fancified pizza in the most unfancified way. It looks SO GOOD.

  • Molly

    I’ve been making your chicken pesto pizza all summer with basil and tomatoes from my garden, but now I think I’ll have to try this one – it looks sooo good.

  • jamiesrecipes

    This sounds sooooo good! It is margherita inspired and I am ok with that.

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Just lovely, Annie!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Oh my!! Such a lovely dinner! Great recipe :)

  • http://www.arthur-in-the-garden.com/ Arthur

    A classic!

  • Its_a_Keeper

    This looks incredible! I wish my pizza crust turned out as good as yours!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    As a purebred Italian I must say I could not care less about authenticity…as long as it tastes as good as this looks…I’m in!

  • Jamie_MilkNCookies

    What a great idea to use a tomato-cream sauce for this pizza. And I’ll have to try roasting tomatoes — we’ve got a bunch of romas that we need to use quickly!

  • AneleatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Oh wow…I want that!

  • Colleen Baez

    I never thought to use roasted tomatoes on pizza. We make homemade pizza a lot and that sounds SO delicious. I could eat that whole pie!

  • Nancy Long

    Oh yes, this is on the list to try!

  • http://Beachbakeaholic.blogspot.com/ Beachbakeaholic

    This pizza looks delicious! I love the combo of using mozzarella and Parmessan. The Parmessan adds a nice buttery, saltiness. The tomato cream sauce is a delicious twist too!

  • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

    This looks so darn good! Now if only my tomatoes would ripen.. I will be making this as soon as I am able!

  • Katrin

    Oh wow! This looks so extremely good! And today baby tomatoes were on sale – must be a sign ;)

  • Mandy

    I’m now committed to making homemade pizza sauce! Target quick stocking my go-to sauce, and I tried this last night. One pizza with the cream (heaven) and one without (delish). So easy, too. We did the roasted tomatoes as well. I simply popped them in the oven on foil atop the pizza stone as the oven warmed, and they were ready when I needed to put them on the pizza. Thank you!

  • April Spicer

    Awesome. I might be the first reader that made the recipe! We had it last night, it was delicious. Unexpected, but delicious. Made the whole grain crust, which was perfect (although like many other readers said I had to add quite a bit more flour than the recipe called for), the tomatoes were insane (never have added sugar before!) and the basil and tomatoes were from my garden. Different, but tasty. I don’t know why the sauce didn’t turn out to be my favorite, it was pretty, just not my favorite. Thanks for adding a new pizza to my repertoire!

  • Laura Campbell

    Oh wow. Yum! I just read Rosie’s version of your recipe and had to head over to read the original. Can’t wait to try this… hm, should I add the splash of vodka? I’m not sure. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be delicious :) x

  • Lauren Ochoa

    I made this for lunch today with the roasted Roma tomatoes and went heavy on the sauce: wow! So good! Well worth the time and effort. I went ahead and made a double batch of the sauce and used the rest to make a small pan of lasagna for another meal. It’s kind of non traditional but then again, a classic homemade meat lasagna incorporates a bechamel sauce in addition to a marinara so i think it will work.

  • Kim

    Annie, I am usually a lover of raw tomato and a hater of hot tomatoes (weird, I know), but this pizza…and the roasted tomatoes….OMG. Thank you for bringing these into our household. I may start adding them to every single thing we eat.

  • http://www.onepreppycookie.blogspot.com/ amy

    Annie, I am the one who posted a photo on Instagram of a “family pizza party” using your recipe that you so nicely responded to. This was one of the 2 pizzas I made (the other was your potato and bacon recipe) and it was DELICIOUS! So, so good. From the sauce to the roasted tomatoes and of course to the crust, HUGE hit. Thank you as always!

  • annieseats

    Aw, yay! (And that post I mentioned is coming tomorrow, so watch for it :) This truly is one of my most favorite pizzas, which is saying a lot. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Diane

    Oh man. This was seriously awesome. I thought I’d be the only one eating it because my husband and kids are a tad picky. I made 4 pizzas tonight and my husband said I should have only made this one! He could not stop raving about it. I used the rest of the sauce on a simple cheese pizza and it was so good, too! The sauce was the bomb! I wish I would have put a little more on this pizza. Anyway, thanks for yet another awesome recipe! Love your blog and refer people to it all the time.

  • Shari

    Am eating this pizza right now, so so good. Sauce has a little spice to it and creamy. Next up the bacon, potato and gruyere pizza. Awesome recipe once again!