Authentic Italian Recipes from Italy




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History of the Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita is typically summed up as the quintessential Italian pizza, but where did it come from? According to popular history, the pizza rose to fame in 1889 when Italy’s queen, Margherita of Savoy and her husband, King Umberto I, traveled to Naples. Tired of the French fare typically served at all European royal courts at the time, Margherita allegedly requested three pizzas made by Naples’ most famous pizzaiolo, Raffaele Esposito.

Esposito and his wife were summoned to the palace to make the pizzas, producing one pizza with garlic, one with anchovies (now known as pizza Napoli) and finally a pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and a sprig of basil. It was the third pizza that enamored the queen’s palate. So much so that Esposito named it “Margherita” in her honor, and it remains legendary to this day.

However, pizza and its flavorful variants have existed for millennia. Ancient Egyptians even made a flatbread that could be considered a relative of pizza. Mediterranean style pizza dates back to the Estruscans, but a pizza topped with tomato sauce (which was invented in Spain) was created in Naples in 1730, and the rest is delicious history.

Want to make your own Pizza Margherita at home? Try our authentic Italian recipes:

For the dough, try our Quick and Easy Pizza Dough or our No-Knead Pizza Dough

For the sauce, our Home-Style Tomato Sauce is simple and quick.

Then top the pizza with fresh mozzarella and several basil leaves and bake at 475 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.