This is my favorite pizza, a pizza Margherita. It’s seriously one of the most delicious things in the world. Look closely and you’ll notice there are really only three ingredients besides the crust: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. How can three ingredients bring so much flavor?
It’s mostly time.
First, the crust takes a day or two to ferment. Fermentation = flavor.
Second, the sauce is cooked slowly to caramelize the sugars in the tomato. Those sugars cook down to create umami, which is brings complexity and an incredible savory layer. A generous helping of salt heightens those savory notes, making them even more flavorful.
(This simple sauce itself only has a few basic ingredients: tomato, garlic, and salt.)
Third, basil. This little leaf is like a boxing glove to the face when it comes to flavor. ???
Fourth, cheese is another layer, offering sweet milkiness and a creamy-chewy texture.
That’s it. A perfect example of just a few simple ingredients, carefully coaxed into infinitely more flavor with a little time and intention. And of course, generous SALTING along the way.
In essence, between the crust and the sauce, time is the most important ingredient in this pizza. I want you to remember that.
And yes, I ate the whole damn thing by myself, in one sitting. ???