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Pizza Margherita: history, curiosities, and recipe

Thick, thin, soft or crispy, simple or topped, there are many variants of pizza, but the queen of them all remains exclusively the pizza margherita.

Known and loved all over the world, pizza has seen in time different versions, among them the most famous are surely the Neapolitan and Roman pizza. It is useless to think about a trip to Italy, or better to Naples, without tasting at least once the real pizza margherita.

It represents a real “cult” of the Neapolitan pizza tradition. A simple and traditional preparation that has no age, one of those that allows you to prepare a dinner in a short time and with great taste.


The history of pizza margherita

Modern pizza, as we know it today, was born in Naples when in 1889 Raffaele Esposito and his wife Rosa Brandi, owners of a pizzeria, prepared a tricolor pizza made of tomato, basil and mozzarella to pay homage to Queen Margherita, wife of King Umberto I. It is right here that pizza Margherita was born, taking its name from the queen who immediately fell in love with this dish.

Despite its success, pizza remained, inexplicably, only a Neapolitan phenomenon until the first half of the 1900s. It was then the first migratory movements from south to north Italy which allowed the spreading of pizza culture. Later on, in Europe and in America, pizza began to be known and appreciated, until it became a real and proper symbol of the Bel Paese.

In particular in the United States of America, where many fellow countrymen began to work in the restaurant industry, soon becoming entrepreneurs and opening many Italian restaurants. It was in this way that the culture of pizza was definitively established abroad as well. For this reason today there are many types of pizza, but the first and original one is always and only the Neapolitan one.

Let’s find out which is the original recipe for pizza margherita!

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Pizza margherita Recipe

Ingredients for 4 pizzas

  • 1 kg of 0 flour
  • 600 ml of water
  • 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 25 gr of brewer’s yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 18 gr of salt

For the topping

  • 600 gr of fior di latte or mozzarella cheese
  • 400 gr of tomato pulp (or peeled tomatoes)
  • b. of extra virgin olive oil
  • b. of salt
  • a few basil leaves


To prepare the margherita pizza, start with the dough. Dissolve the yeast in a glass of warm water. Make a “well” in the flour on the table and pour the yeast in the center and begin to knead. Gradually add the remaining water, salt, sugar and finally the oil. Knead for a few minutes. The dough will be ready when it reaches a soft and elastic consistency, the dough must be smooth and homogeneous. At this point form a ball, dust it with flour and place the dough in a large container, previously greased with oil. Cover the container with a clean cloth and place it in the oven off. Let it rise for at least an hour or an hour and a half: the volume of the dough should double.


When the dough has risen, divide it into four, form four balls and cover them with the cloth. Let’s start preparing the pizza. Dust the table with flour and begin to roll out the dough with your hands, forming a diameter of about 30 cm. Spread the dough on a baking sheet, previously greased with oil. Now add the tomato, seasoned with oil and salt, and the fior di latte or mozzarella roughly cut.

Your pizza is ready to be baked: 15/20 minutes in a preheated oven at 250°…the oven must always be very hot for perfect cooking! Once cooked, add the basil leaves.

There are many secrets to a delicious pizza. Some people put the pizza in the oven without mozzarella for about 10 minutes and add it later.  Others recommend putting the pizza on the bottom of the oven for the first 5 minutes, so as to give it a blast of heat and make the base crispier. De gustibus!


If you want to enjoy the aroma and fragrance in all its intensity, the pizza must be eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven!

We hope we have made your mouth water with this recipe, in the meantime we are waiting for you in Naples for a food tour based entirely on pizza. And if you are a fan and want to discover all the secrets to cook the real pizza margherita, join our cooking class in Naples!