Don’t fear if you don’t have a pizza stone and peel in your kitchen. Shape and bake the pizza on a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet instead. You’ll make enough sauce for two pizzas; any extra can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months.
1 (14-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
1 tablespoon oregano, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cornmeal or semolina for dusting pizza peel or baking sheet
A few basil leaves for finishing
330 grams (12 ounces) pizza dough, at room temperature
Preheat oven to its highest temp, 500–550℉. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it with your oven. Dust a pizza peel liberally with cornmeal or semolina.
For the sauce: In a food processor or blender, blend the tomatoes (without their liquid) with the oregano, salt, pepper and a few glugs of olive oil. Add reserved tomato liquid to purée to get a pizza-sauce-like consistency. Add salt, pepper, oregano to taste.
Cut mozzarella into ¼-inch slices.
Once oven is preheated, flatten your dough out evenly. Make sure to use your palms to avoid creating holes in the dough. Let rest for 30–60 seconds if it starts to shrink back on itself. When your dough round is roughly 12 inches across, lift it onto your peel or onto a baking sheet.
With the stretched pizza dough on your peel or pan, add half of the sauce to the center of the pizza. With a spatula, spread the sauce evenly across the dough round. Arrange the sliced mozzarella evenly across the pizza (but not too close to the edge, because it will melt and spread a fair amount).
Transfer your pizza to the baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven. Bake the pizza for 10–12 minutes, until it is cooked to your desired doneness. When the pizza is baked to your liking, transfer to a cutting board.
Slice the pizza; top with chopped basil and a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!