Pizza How To For a Friend

Homemade margherita pizza using Trader Joes dough

On Tuesday I get this text: Don’t laugh but how do I make the TJ’s Pizza dough into pizza? Explicit instructions please…
Being a good friend and wanting to share I rapidly fired off a long text full of details and then followed it up with Perhaps I’ll post it on Ladles and Jellyspoons?! and got this back: Yes! Post it. Not making it tonight but wanted recipe cause I just bought the dough! : ). How r u??

These past few weeks have been a little out of control with regards to our pizza consumption – even for me who, as those who know me, know I love love LOVE pizza. We’ve had homemade pizza, dined at my favorite Mozza Pizzeria on fresh rapini and cherry tomato pizza, ordered after school Village pizza to go, entered a Rosti Tuscan Kitchen pizza challenge, savoured every last bite of the decadent truffle pizza at Cecconi’s during a ladies who lunch gathering of new friends and old, and even enjoyed fried pizza at Oliviero at the Avalon Hotel that gave my fellow diners a lot to talk about  - how had he cooked it?

Deep Fried Pizza made by Chef Mirko Paderno at Oliviero

On Sunday Minty and I were invited to a food bloggers’ pizza party at Rosti Tuscan Kitchen in the valley. The friendly challenge was to come up with the best topping and for the winner – free pizza for a year. We all topped our pizzas and then once they had been in the pizza oven and cooked we tasted each one and voted.Minty and I brought our A game – she made a very cheesey mozzarella, tomato and mushroom Peace Pizza.

Minty with her Peace Pizza

Pizzas waiting to be cooked

The bloggers at the party included Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking who made a pesto based pizza with prosciutto which was a little on the salty side (we blamed it on the pesto!), Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen who made a fig and goat cheese creation that was a little on the sweet side, Pamela from My Man’s Belly topped her pizza with meatballs, Kim from Rustic Garden Bistro used anchovies – making it too salty for my palette, Greg from SippitySup waited for ages for the kitchen to prepare his secret ingredient – onions fried in balsamic – I believe it was worth the wait because he came second, Paulette from Girl + Fire made the winning pizza which seemed to have every topping on it –  balsamic, mozzarella and pesto and even bacon – always a winner and the ingredient that clinched it – breadcrumbs (suggested by Minty I may say!).

[Other pizzas were a caprese pizza (which in my book is a margherita pizza no?), a shrimp pizza and a smoked mozzarella with chicken pizza - I'm sorry I don't know the names of the bloggers but I'll happily add if they make themselves known!]

Cutting up a pizza at Rosti Tuscan Kitchen

I decided to go for a fall ‘pumpkin’ pie and topped my pre-rolled circle of dough with butternut squash, fresh mozzarella, a light smattering of Gorgonzola and a few fried sage leaves. Mine was Minty and Gaby’s fav – sadly not enough to win us free pizza for a year but a happy 3rd place!

My Third Place Pumpkin Pizza Pie

We were given a ball of pizza dough to take home and so I whipped up a pie for the boys who were waiting for us:


Pizza made with the going home pressie dough

Quick and easy Margherita Pizza at home


Fresh pizza dough (from Trader Joes)

Flour for dusting

2 tablespoons olive oil

I large onion chopped

4 ripe plum tomatoes chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

Two balls Buffalo Mozzarella

Fresh basil leaves – I like to mix purple and green

What to do:

Season as you go!

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F

2. Divide dough into two balls and let sit on a floured counter top whilst you prepare the tomato sauce.

3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and cook onion over medium heat until translucent with a little salt- about 10 minutes.

3. Add chopped tomatoes and sugar to onions and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced and is a thick delicious sauce.

4. Either roll out the pizza balls or make thin circles of dough by stretching it out with your floured hands. Place on an oiled baking sheet.

5. Top each pizza with a generous layer of the tomato sauce and slices of the mozzarella.

6. Bake in the top of the oven for approx 12 – 15 minutes until the pie is a golden brown around the edges and the cheese has melted.

7. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil and serve immediately.



  1. Lucy, thanks for posting this so quickly. I’m working on my post now and yours was a great reference. Plus your pizza (which was one of my favorites–I love gorgonzola) looks so delicious, I want another slice!

  2. So great meeting you last night. I love your site. We are big time pizza lovers so I will definitely be giving your version a go!