How to Make Italian Pizza, Step By Step Pictures

Spinach & Mozzarella Pizza Recipe With Homemade Sauce

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Who doesn't love pizza? Whether eight or eighty years old, everyone seems to enjoy a good slice (or two) of authentic Italian pizza. Many variations of pizza have popped up over the years, but it all began with a basic cheese pizza. Its popularity can make it expensive to order, though.

The great news is that you can save money and eat healthier by making your own Italian pizza at home. It doesn’t take long to prepare or bake at all. And by using fresh ingredients, your friends and family will all think it’s take-out from your local Italian pizza parlor.

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 Refrigerated Pizza Dough. If you don’t want to make your own dough, you can easily buy fresh dough found in higher-end supermarkets such as Whole Foods. You can also visit your local pizza establishment and ask if they will sell one to you. Many times they are happy to oblige. Just stay away from anything that comes in a refrigerated tube.
  • Approximately 1-2 Tbsp. of Olive or Canola Oil. This is needed to apply to the crust of the pizza to make it crispy.
  • 1 Lb. Block of Mozzarella Cheese. Choose an Italian brand that comes in a single block, not pre-shredded. Grating the cheese yourself will give you better-tasting cheese on your pizza.
  • 1 Cup Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce. I highly recommend not using jarred or canned tomato sauce for this. Basic Italian tomato sauce is extremely simple to make. You can make it in large batches and use it in a variety of recipes. It freezes great, and the difference in taste is unsurpassed. Find a simple, basic recipe like this one. You won't be disappointed.
  • Fresh Spinach (optional). There are countless toppings that you can add to pizza. Spinach is just one of my favorites, and it provides a boatload of vitamins to boot. If you don't like spinach, scrap it and add whatever toppings you like: pepperoni, ham & pineapple, mushroom & olive, or even an extra layer of cheese.
  • Flour. This is just used to sprinkle on the area that you use to stretch the dough out so it doesn't stick.

You'll also need:

  • A good quality rolling pin
  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza cutter
  • Food brush

Serves: 4 people, assuming 2 slices each
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes in a pre-heated 500-degree oven

Step One: After pre-heating oven to 500 degrees, stretch pizza dough until able to fit on pizza stone. Now, this may in fact take some practice. For now, just strive for a great-tasting pizza. The perfect "look" of the pizza will come with practice.

Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean surface and, with your hands and a rolling pin, stretch the dough until it covers the stone.

It is super important to manipulate the dough as little as possible, because too much handling can often leave the dough tough.

Step Two: Brush dough with a bit of oil and apply an ample amount of tomato sauce. When applying the sauce, try and not get too close to the edge of the dough. Focus on the middle and do not over-sauce. Just enough to coat is fine.

Step Three: Thinly slice mozzarella and apply to pizza until entire surface is covered.

Step Four: Add spinach, or any other toppings that you would like.

Step Five: Bake in oven approximately 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and hot and pizza crust is brown and crispy.

Let cool for a couple of minutes, then slice with a pizza cutter and serve.

And that’s it… you’re done!  As you are enjoying your homemade pizza with authentic Italian marinara sauce, take in all the flavors and textures, especially the crust. Using a pizza stone makes your crust perfectly crisp and delicious.

If you have a small apartment or dorm and don't have room for a full-sized oven, take a look at the Cuisinart Brick Oven Deluxe -- a toaster oven that comes with its own pizza stone.

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