One of America’s favorite comfort foods is made here with a roasted red pepper sauce. No shortcuts in this vegan Margerhita pizza recipe — the sauce, the dough, and all area made from scratch. Reprinted with permission from American Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Comfort Food from Blue Plate Specials to Homestyle Favorites* by Tamasin Noyes © 2010, Vegan Heritage Press).
Makes: 2 pizzas
- 3/4 to 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active baking yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs, optional
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional
- 1 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 6 to 8 ripe Roma or plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped basil
Dough: In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup warm water, agave nectar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes or until bubbly. In a large bowl, combine the flours, nutritional yeast, salt, and herbs, if using. Add the yeast mixture and the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water, as needed, to make a cohesive dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Knead about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and shiny. Shape into a ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour.
Sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Add the wine, if using, and cook 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 to 20 minutes to thicken. For a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Cool completely before using.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven. If using baking sheets or pizza pans, lightly oil them. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Place one piece of dough on the work surface and pat into a disk. Turn it over and lightly flour. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to the baking sheet or stone. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Toppings: Top each pizza with a thin layer of the sauce, then a layer of tomato slices, followed by the cheese, spreading evenly. Place the pizzas in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 475°F. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly browned. Top with chopped basil and cut into wedges.
Visit Tamasin Noyes’ blog, Vegan Appetite.
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