Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto and Basil

To me, pizza is the ultimate comfort food. No matter the topping, cold or hot, spicy or mild, fresh out the oven or straight from the fridge- pizza always hits the spot and is the perfect portable meal. Living in Jersey City and working in New York, there is no shortage of great pizza places around, and it’s always easy to satisfy any cravings you might have, pizza-wise (or otherwise, but that’s another story).

pizza noms

But sometimes, the bug hits you and you’re like… hmm, making pizza dough shouldn’t be too hard… and a nice quick homemade sauce… and some fresh mozz… …no? Just me? Well, okay then. But I’m here to tell you that it actually isn’t too hard- provided you can find some freakin yeast.

I visited one of my favorite Italian specialty shops in Manhattan, Citarella, on the corner of W. 9th St and 6th Ave on my way home, hoping to score some fresh basil, prosciutto, and yeast for the dough for the night’s culinary adventure. This place has a ton of crazy good (and sometimes expensive) ingredients, plus a bakery, so I assumed I’d be able to find some there. But no, no yeast for sale!

So I crossed W. 9th to a mini-mart, and asked the lady if she had any yeast. “It’s that way!” she sort of yelled, while pointing…. east. Not yeast.

ingredients Determined not to give up, I made one last attempt at LifeThyme, down the street a little on 6th Ave. After talking to a few of the employees and even a manager, I finally found 3 packets of active dry yeast. Success!

Now for the baking.. I adapted the dough recipe from to add a little more flavor, but feel free to go nuts on the toppings. I love prosciutto and it gets super nice and crispy while baking- but the sky’s the limit when it comes to personalizing your pizza- after all, that’s what is so great about it!

Finished project

Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto and Basil
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4

For the crust:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • corn meal, to cover the baking sheet or pizza stone
For the sauce:
  • 1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 large basil leaves, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced (quantity up to your preference- I had around 12 slices)
  • 4 large basil leaves, shredded
  • 2 slices prosciutto, chopped into smaller pieces

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. While dough is rising, in a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook garlic until lightly cooked. Add tomatoes, oregano, shredded basil, and salt and pepper and simmer sauce until dough is ready to go.
  4. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet or pizza stone that has been covered in corn meal. A good idea is to cover your hands in flour first so that the dough doesn’t stick too much to your fingers (something I found out after attempting).
  5. Ladle sauce over the pizza, and place mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil over as you like.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When done, let sit for a few before slicing and serving (so you don’t burn your mouth off!)

about to meet the heatSide note: what do you think of the pics? Got my new camera today! Still playing around but I’m already seeing an improvement in photo quality.

Happy Eating 🙂

8 thoughts on “Pizza Margherita with Prosciutto and Basil”

  1. Love the new camera, one thing that is good is that the light is more cohesive throughout the post. Before sometimes the light would be more yellowy or change from hard to soft. BTW the pic of the before pizza is great!!

  2. Hey – your latest post brought back great memories of my childhood – when every Friday night, my Mom would make pizza and pasta fagioli – then if there was any pizza leftover, having it Saturday morning for breakfast cold with a glass of milk. Great job –

    1. I love hearing about food traditions and family. I think those stories are what can make food seem even more delicious. And re: the leftovers- that’s what I’m doing today- brought in the little that was left for lunch! 🙂

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