Healthy Recipes

Margherita Pizza

The lycopene from the tomatoes in this sauce, as well as other elements of the Mediterranean diet, are what make this pizza good for your heart.

Margherita Pizza
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Ingredients: 

Serves 8 (four 9–inch pizzas)
DOUGH:
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
4 cups white whole wheat flour, preferably organic King Arthur
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
1 tablespoon honey
1 ¼ cups, plus 3 tablespoons cool water
Cornmeal for dusting

SAUCE:
1 28–ounce can whole, peeled (preferably plum) tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

TOPPINGS:
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut in ¼" slices
Leaves from 1 bunch basil, rinsed and dried.

Directions: 

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of the flour with salt in a large bowl. When yeast is foamy, stir olive oil, honey, and cool water into it.
2. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Gradually add the remaining 2 cups flour. When the dough is too stiff to stir, switch to kneading with your hand, dampened with room–temperature water. Knead in bowl to incorporate flour and work the dough until it forms a smooth, wet, slightly sticky ball. (Adjust for discrepancies in flour measurement by adding water or flour, tablespoon by tablespoon.)
3. Rub olive oil around the inside of another large bowl. Place the dough ball in the oil–coated bowl; roll around to grease the dough. Cover bowl with wax paper secured with a rubber band. Let dough rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours (or refrigerate overnight and remove to room temperature 2 hours before Step 4).
4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Blend canned tomatoes with their juice until incorporated but still slightly chunky. Add the rest of the ingredients; pulse to combine.
5. One hour before baking, preheat oven to 500?F, with the pizza stone or unglazed tile inside.
6. Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Knead dough pieces one at a time until smooth; shape into balls. Let dough balls rest 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, evenly sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel to prevent sticking.
7. For each pizza, place one dough ball in the middle of your lightly floured work area. Press the dough to flatten into a disc. Carefully lift the dough and use your knuckles to stretch the edge of the round. Keep moving the dough in a circular motion, stretching it evenly. If at any point the dough begins to tear or becomes too elastic, set it down and let it rest. Once your crust has a diameter of 10 inches, gently lay on prepared peel.
8. For each pizza, spread just enough Pizza Sauce to cover the dough, about ¼ cup. Arrange a quarter of the mozzarella slices on the sauce.
9. Give the pizza peel a shake to make sure the dough isn't sticking. Slide the pizza into the hot oven. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling and crust is golden and resists pressure, about 10 minutes.
10. Cool pizza for a few minutes to allow cheese to set. Arrange basil, either whole or sliced into shreds, over the cheese. Repeat Steps 8 through 10 until all pizzas are done.

For more gourmet whole–grain pizza recipes, see the September 2008 issue of Natural Health.

Nutritional facts: 

Per serving: 460 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated), 66 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 6 g fiber, 700 mg sodium (30% Daily Value).

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