Personal Pizza Margherita; broccoli; tangerines – 28 February 2011

I had not had much luck with Pizza Margherita following the recipes I found online, even the one from Epicurious. I had tried D’s suggestion of adding oregano – which is growing enthusiastically in the garden – to the sauce, and I also decided to use more basil than called for, by a few multiples. Mozzarella fior di latte is called for, but I have not found it flavorful enough, so I went for mozzarella di bufalo this time. I also scattered a lot of fresh basil over the top after cooking just the sauce and cheese. I think standard Margheritas have much more conservative amounts of basil.

Success! This one tasted more like the pizza we had for lunch at Delfina last month – richer, very flavorful. I made a large vat of sauce – double the size of the Epicurious recipe – using a 28-oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, which people seem to think are the best ones for Italian sauces. I got Gustosella buffalo mozz at the Cheese Board, and used half a ball on this personal pizza. I had them sit for a portrait on the stove burner.

San Marzano is a place, not a brand, so this is not the only way SM tomatoes will look. Writing this the 11th of March, and yesterday D brought some from the Bowl under their own house label, which I hope we will try soon. However, I still have about 1 1/2 large pizzas worth of sauce in the freezer from this adventure, even after the pizza on the 2nd…

I chose the Uvaggio Barbera that I bought at the Bowl recently (but have had before – found at their wine tasting) and it was great, of course. They have it both under California and Italian wines – an Italian grape varietal for a wine made in CA, but not very “Californian” in that it is not big and bold, but food-friendly. The pic is out of focus but has odd things to recommend it so I posted it anyway.

Also steamed up some broccoli that had been in the fridge awhile but was still reasonably happy, and then tossed it in a little butter. Finally, chose out a couple of nice tangerines (love this time of year!) for dessert.

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