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Nicolina’s Classic Pizza

My mom made this pizza quite often in the summer. She would make enough to feed all the kids in the neighborhood, who willingly carried buckets of water to her garden that was situated at the bottom of a steep hill. They happily did this for Nicolina’s pizza.

1 pizza crust, rolled out on a cornmeal-dusted paddle
8 fresh garden tomatoes (preferably Roma)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of basil leaves, torn
fresh ground salt & pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded

Heat a pizza stone in an oven set at 500˚ for about a half an hour.

While it is heating, bring a pot of water large enough to safely hold the tomatoes to a boil. Add tomatoes and remove with slotted spoon when they begin to split (after about 2 to 3 minutes).

Place them in a bowl and allow to cool. Cut off the stem end of each tomato and peel off skin. Then, mix in the basil.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil onto the pizza crust and spread over surface. Take a handful of the tomato mixture and spread evenly over the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone (remember to tilt it before you put it into the oven to make sure it will slide off of the paddle) Bake for 3 minutes and remove.

Top with more olive oil and slices of mozzarella. Bake for another 4 to 5 minutes until done.