Cooks put almost anything on pizza. Pizza Margherita, a popular variety in Italy, was first made in 1889 for Queen Margherita and King Umberto I. It is topped with the colors of the Italian flag: fresh red tomatoes, green basil leaves, and creamy white mozzarella. For a few toppings that you might like to try on your pizza. Be creative and add your own favorites to the list.


Pizza ingredients:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
pizza sauce (recipe follows)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
desired pizza toppings (suggestions follow)

1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Stir in salt and oil. Gradually stir in flour. Beat vigorously 20 strokes. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.

2. Put dough in a warm place, cover with a damp towel, and let rise until double in size (about 45 minutes).

3. Punch dough down with your fist to let out the air. Divide dough in half.

4. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or 2 10-inch pizza pans. With floured fingers, pat each half of the dough into a 10-inch circle.* Build up edges of pizzas with your fingers to keep sauce from running off.

5. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle with grated cheese and your favorite toppings.

6. Bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Let pizzas stand at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Rising time: 30 to 45 minutes
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

*Dough should be thinly and evenly spread with no holes in it. For a thicker crust, use 2 9-inch cake pans.

No-cook pizza sauce:
1 6-oz. can tomato paste 1 16-oz.can whole tomatoes, cut up with a spoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
1/4 c. minced onion
1 green pepper, cleaned out and minced (optional)

Pizza toppings:
artichoke hearts
basil, oregano, or other herbs
Canadian bacon
green or black olives
green or sweet red peppers
roasted garlic

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together with a fork.

2. Spoon sauce onto unbaked pizza crust. Add topping, if desired, and bake as directed in basic recipe.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Enough for 2 pizzas