Recently I returned to my old stomping grounds, New York City. While there I visited one of my favorite walk-up pizza places – Joe’s Pizza on West 4th Street – for a slice of fresh mozzarella pizza featuring a perfectly crisp crust with just the right amount of char, a simple but flavorful tomato sauce, and slices of fresh mozzarella.
But while it’s amazing, not everyone can travel to Manhattan when they crave a good slice of pizza. As such, I came up with the following recipe featuring a very simple sauce comprised of amazing San Marzano tomatoes (you can find cans of San Marzano tomatoes at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and some mass grocery chains.
GRILLED PIZZA MARGHERITA
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
4 tbsp. olive oil + 1 tbsp. for the sauce
28oz. can peeled San Marzano tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
1 lb. sliced fresh mozzarella (I use Bel Gioioso Sliced and Ready to Serve Mozzarella)
4-6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped or cut into thin ribbons
Stand mixer with dough hook
Combine sugar, warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a dough hook and let it stand for 5-10 minutes until foam starts to form on the top. Add 1 cup of flour along with the salt and olive oil to the stand mixer bowl and turn the mixer on low. Continue to add flour until the dough forms in to ball. Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with a moist towel and allow the dough to sit for approximately 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Prepare grill for medium heat cooking. Place San Marzano tomatoes in a medium saucepan and crush the tomatoes either by hand or with a potato masher. Place the saucepan on the grill and add the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, minced garlic, and dried Italian seasonings to the crushed tomatoes. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 30 minutes until it has begun to thicken. Remove the sauce from the grill, place the pizza stone on the grill, and adjust the bottom vents to bring the grill temperature to high.
Place the dough on a lightly dusted surface and begin to roll it out in to a 14-16 inch circle. Lightly flour a pizza peel and slide it under the dough. Alternatively, you can place the pizza on a pizza pan. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella.
Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, cover the grill*, and allow the pizza to cook for approximately 10 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese has begun to bubble.
Remove the pizza from the grill using the pizza peel, top with the fresh basil, slice, and serve.
* Note, I used the Kettle Pizza attachment for a 22.5inch Weber kettle grill but it is optional.