12 cherry tomatoes
12 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 bunches fresh basil leaves (about 1 1/2 cups lightly packed)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
All purpose flour, for dusting
Two 8-ounce balls purchased pizza dough
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Position 1 rack in the lower third of the oven and 1 rack in the center of the oven, and set a pizza stone on the lower rack. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Lay the tomatoes on a nonreactive baking sheet and drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes in the center of the oven until they are tender and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Using a Bump and Grind or another large mortar and pestle, smash the garlic into a coarse puree. Add the basil and pound until it is coarsely chopped. Add the pine nuts and smash to break them up. Mix in the Parmesan cheese. Slowly mix in the olive oil. Season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Using oven mitts, remove the pizza stone from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface or trivet (it will be extremely hot). Stretch 1 dough out to about a 10-inch oval and lay the dough over the stone (the dough does not have to be a perfect oval).
Working quickly, spread 1/4 cup of pesto sauce in a thin layer over the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Arrange half of the roasted tomatoes over the pizza. Tear the mozzarella into long stringy pieces and scatter half of them over the pizza. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the pizza.
Using oven mitts, return the pizza stone to the oven and bake the pizza for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and golden brown. Using oven mitts, remove the pizza stone from the oven and return it to the heatproof surface. Cool for 5 minutes.
Scatter half of the basil leaves over the pizza. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a pizza cutter, cut the pizza into wedges and serve. Repeat to make a second pizza.
Note: If you do not have a pizza stone, press each ball of pizza dough onto a heavy large baking sheet to form a thin, irregularly-shaped disk that is about 10 inches in diameter, and proceed with forming and baking the pizza on the baking sheet. You may need to bake the pizza a few minutes longer.