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Easy Margherita Pizza, Arugula and Corn Pizza, Or Any Kind of Thin Crust Pizza You Want

May 12, 2012

The beloved carnivore and I are taking a much-needed vacation to Italy at the end of the month, and I could not be more excited.  I have not been back since studying abroad there, and I have been trying to keep the Italy nostalgia at bay for a long while.  Now that we are going, I have no need to keep the nostalgia at bay, and the floodgates have opened.   I am dreaming of ruins, pizza, cobblestone, and gelato.

When I came back from studying abroad, I was equally filled with longing for the motherland (I can call it that even though I’m not Italian, because I am Catholic).   To help ease my pain, my uncle shared a recipe for easy margherita pizza.

Not only is this pizza capable of soothing the lonely souls of those who are longing for Italy, but it is also one of the easiest meals to make, especially for a large crowd.  One of my favorite nights in college was when my roommate and I hosted a bunch of people and made a ton of these pizzas.  Ah, college.   I was in so much less debt then — thank you, law school.

Speaking of debt, this pizza is very budget-friendly.  All you need is tortillas, shredded cheese (you can even use the pre-shredded kind), tomatoes, olive oil, and a little fresh basil (but dried basil works in a pinch).

See, I was in a pinch and used dried basil.  Not as pretty, but pretty delicious.

This pizza is also incredibly versatile.  I have a ton of favorite variations.  I’m including my absolute favorite variation below, but there are so many.  You can spread pesto on the tortilla and top with cheese.  You can even use some arugula pesto and add a bit of corn before sprinkling the cheese on top.  You can make a red-sauce version, spreading tomato sauce on the tortilla and topping with cheese.  I’ll admit, however, that I haven’t tried any meaty variations.  Because the pizzas do not bake for very long, I’d recommend only topping with cooked meat. 

You can also make miniature versions using smaller tortillas.  Don’t try to use corn tortillas, though, because it’s just not the same.  My college roommate can testify to that, but she’s good natured and ate that batch anyway.

Easy Margherita Pizza 

Courtesy of my Uncle David

Makes 4 pizzas, but double, triple, and quadruple batches are easy to do

  • 4 flour tortillas (the larger kind)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 – 1.5 cups shredded parmesan
  • 3 ripe Roma tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.   Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil into a small dish.

Using a pastry brush, brush each tortilla with olive oil and place oiled-side down on a large ungreased baking sheet or two smaller ungreased baking sheets (do not use a Silpat, both because the pizza won’t brown as well and, more importantly, because you should only use Silpats at temperatures less than 480 degrees).  Brush the top of each tortilla with more olive oil, paying particular attention to the edges, so that your pizzas will have well-browned outer crusts.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top of each tortilla, enough to cover most of the tortilla except for the outer edges.  Sprinkle a small handful of shredded parmesan on top.

Wash the Roma tomatoes and cut into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices.   Top each pizza with 3 – 5 tomato slices, depending on the level of your tomato adoration.

Place the pizzas in the oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.  While the pizzas are baking, slice the fresh basil into thin strips.

Look at that awesome browning action.

Remove the pizzas from the cookie sheets and place them on plates.  Sprinkle each pizza with a large pinch of sliced fresh basil.  Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before eating.

Arugula and Corn Variation

This variation is inspired by my all-time favorite pizza, which I hope to be able to find again when we get to Rome in a few weeks.   Our grocery store did not have any baby arugula that came without radicchio, which I strongly dislike, so I used a smaller amount of full-grown arugula.  It worked well, but the baby arugula version is better.

  • 4 flour tortillas (the larger kind)
  • 2 – 2.5 cups shredded mozzarella
  • .5 – 1 cups shredded parmesan
  • 1 small can of yellow corn, drained
  • 1 small bag of baby arugula (preferable) or 1 small bunch of full-grown arugula (for the back-up version)
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.   Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil into a small dish.

Using a pastry brush, brush each tortilla with olive oil and place oiled-side down on a large ungreased baking sheet or two smaller ungreased baking sheets (without a Silpat – see above).  Brush the top of each tortilla with more olive oil, paying particular attention to the edges, so that your pizzas will have well-browned outer crusts.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top of each tortilla, enough to cover the entire tortilla except for the outer edges.  Sprinkle a small amount of shredded parmesan on top, then cover with the baby arugula.  If you are using grown arugula, which has a stronger flavor, you will want to slice the arugula into small strips and sprinkle only a small handful on top of each pizza, leaving plenty of “holes” for the cheese to show through.  However, ideally, you’ll be using baby arugula and can cover almost all of the cheese with it and then pack even more on top.  Finally, sprinkle with a small handful of corn.  Unless you are making a double-batch, you will probably have leftover corn, which should be kept in the refrigerator.

Place the pizzas in the oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.

Remove the pizzas from the cookie sheets and place them on plates.  Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    May 12, 2012 11:43 am

    Looks good …. despite the oddball spelling of margarita!

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