It’s pizza night!
Taking the traditional Margherita pizza and making it so much better. A layer of homemade pesto sauce, fresh cut cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil give this pizza a new twist on an old favorite.
You’ll usually find red pizza sauce (or just crushed tomatoes) for the sauce layer. I wanted to make the basil flavor shine through, so I opted for pesto instead. Most times I’d rather pick anything other than red sauce on pizza.
I’m also finally sharing a homemade pesto recipe with you! I know I’ve made dishes with pesto a few times and this time I’m showing you just how easy it is to make your own. People that say homemade pesto looks too hard or complicated are crazy. It’s easy, probably easier than making marinara sauce. And there’s no cooking involved. Win, win. You just put all 5 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth and you’re done!
The other great thing about pesto is you can mix up the ingredients. Pine nuts are the traditional nut, but I used walnuts in the recipe and I’ve also made pesto using cashews too. It adds a slightly different flavor but it’s never bad. I like to add some spinach in with the basil to balance everything out.
I’m using the dough recipe from this pizza. There’s no yeast, so there’s no waiting for the dough to rise. That means everything comes together in under 15 minutes! Since there’s no yeast, the dough won’t be quite as fluffy but I personally don’t mind. You can use a yeast pizza dough, just plan accordingly so you’re not waiting forever for the dough to rise!
Are you going to make Pesto Margherita Pizza? Be sure to leave a comment with any questions or suggestions, I love hearing your thoughts!
Pesto Margherita Pizza
|Yield: makes 2 pizzas|
No rise pizza crust, homemade pesto, topped with cheese, tomatoes, and cheese.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 cup - 2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh basil (you can add some spinach too, to balance the flavor)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
- fresh basil leaves
- crushed red pepper
- Make the pizza dough: mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in olive oil, honey, and water. Mix until dough comes together. If too sticky, add more flour. If too dry, add more water. Knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Let dough rest 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and spread stretch dough to fit on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Par-cook dough for 3 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Make the pesto: Combine basil, garlic, and walnuts in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper, pulse until everything is mixed. Small chunks of nuts and basil are okay.
- Make pizza: Spread pesto on each pizza dough. Top with tomatoes, cheese, and basil.
- Cook pizza 13 - 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crusted red pepper flakes and additional basil leaves.
images & text © North Coast Eats
crust adapted from Wine & Cheeseboard Pizza