Check out Artichoke Basille’s Pizza signature New York-style margherita pizza recipe, created by founders Francis Garcia and Sal Basille. A classic that'll never let you down, margherita pizzas may include the same base ingredients worldwide, but Garcia and Basille give it the extra "wow" factor, making it deliciously crunchy, cheesy and saucy.
The secret to making the perfect crispy crust? Deck ovens. If you don’t have one, co-founder Francis Garcia has a solution: “You can use quarry tiles. Go to Home Depot, buy a box of quarry tiles, put your oven rack all the way to the bottom, and lay your stone or quarry tile over the rack.”
“The stone needs to be heated all the way through before putting your pizza on it; otherwise you’ll end up with a cooked top and a soggy bottom,” Garcia continues. “Turn your oven up as high as it goes—we’re talking 550 to 600°F. Let it preheat for at least an hour.”
If you’re looking to challenge yourself with an equally tasty deep-dish version, Garcia suggests using an aluminum pan with store-bought dough.
"Line the pan with a thin layer of olive oil and spread the dough evenly until it maintains the shape of the pan," he says. "Top with your favorite sauce and cheeses (we prefer Polly-O mozzarella) and bake directly in the oven - no stones needed.”
Ready to get started? Here's how to make Artichoke Basille’s beloved margherita pizza. Try it for yourself, then compare it to the real thing, served hot and fresh in New York City, Oakland and Berkeley, Arizona and Connecticut, too!
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for the bowl
- 3 ½ cups high-gluten flour
- 20 oz can of San Marzano Italian peeled plum tomatoes (or California tomatoes)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 batch pizza dough
- 1 cup of flour
- 10 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, preferably Polly-O (buy a pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 batch Pizza Sauce
- 4 tablespoons grated Locatelli Pecorino Romano (or any other Pecorino)
- 1 ovalini fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano
- Fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil
- In a large bowl, add one cup of water, yeast, salt and oil. Add in the flour and mix by hand until smooth, and form into a ball.
- Remove the dough ball from the bowl, add a little oil inside of the bowl, then place the dough back in the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a dish towel or anything that will allow it to breathe.
- After an hour, the dough should double in size.
- Pour the 20 oz can of Italian peeled plum tomatoes in a bowl and smash them with your hand until they reach a chunky consistency.
- Add in 3 pinches of salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Simple enough, right?
- Turn on your oven and set it to 550-600 ºF. Let it preheat for at least an hour.
- Use a pizza “peel” to get the pie in the oven. If you don’t have one, use a 16-by-16 inch cardboard.
- Flour the peel and begin stretching out the dough. Press it down from the outside and work your way into the middle, without taking the air out of it.
- Once the dough is flattened, gently toss it back and forth without letting the center get too thin.
- Evenness is key! Once the dough is equally distributed, stretch it into about a 16-inch circle, then place it on the floured surface.
- Now it's time to decorate. Spread the cubed mozzarella evenly over the dough, and pour two 6-oz ladles of sauce over the cheese. Beginning with the edges, spread around the tomato sauce in a circular motion to create a bullseye in the center.
- Sprinkle the pecorino and ovalini mozzarella over the sauce.
- Place it in the oven, and let it cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.
- Finish off by sprinkling Parmigiana Reggiano, a handful of fresh basil and a little olive oil.
If you’re unable to finish the entire pizza, don’t worry about it not tasting the same the next day.
“Enjoy leftover pizza best by reheating the pizza in a frying pan over medium heat,” Garcia recommends. “The crust will get crispy again, like it was fresh out of the pizza oven.”