Tomato Basil Pizza

I had never had pizza other than pepperoni and olive (my mom's favorite) or Canadian bacon and pineapple (my dad's favorite) until I went to college. One of my roommates introduced me to tomato-basil pizza, or as it is sometimes called, margherita pizza.I have attempted to make this pizza in the past, but it has never really tasted right, so I haven't tried in a while. Then in one of the recent issues of  Clean Eating, there was a recipe, so I decided to give it another shot. And I am very glad I did.

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
4-5 Roma tomatoes
2 small cloves of garlic
1 tsp red wine vinegar
6-7 basil leaves
tiny pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup mozzarella
15-20 basil leaves

Roughly chop the tomatoes into 1/4" chunks. Mince the garlic, then roll the 6-7 basil leaves into a roll together lengthwise, and slice them into narrow strips crosswise. Toss the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, basil, salt, and black pepper into a saucepan, then heat over medium-low heat. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are broken down and smell great. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450, and roll out the pizza dough to the size you want (mine was about 14" across). Put it on the pan or pizza stone (hint, hint...I would love one of those for Christmas....). Spread the sauce onto the dough as thick as you would like. Sprinkle half the cheese on top, then tear the remaining basil leaves in half, spread them on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the basil. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes or so until the cheese is slightly browned.

This isn't exactly like the pizza my college roommate had, she prefers white (non-tomato sauce) pizza and I prefer it this way, with a chunky tomato sauce instead of tomato slices.  In the original recipe, it called for a 12 oz can of strained tomatoes, but I didn't know what those were so I went with my own gut on this and used fresh tomatoes instead. I also love basil, so I doubled the basil in both the sauce and the pizza.

This was really good and very easy, it took me about 40 minutes to put together, including the 30 minutes to simmer the sauce.

Rating? 5/5
Why? This was really easy to make and tastes great, as well as being pretty healthy. I like that there are limited ingredients and that it is heavy on the basil

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