The ingredients of a classic Pizza Margherita represent the colors of Italy with its ripe red tomatoes, white Mozzarella cheese, and fresh green basil. This attractive combination of simple, yet delicious, ingredients explains why it is a favorite of pizza lovers everywhere. This post not only tells you where to find the best margherita pizza in Venice, but will also teach you how to make your own cast iron margherita pizza at home.
A Classic Margherita Pizza is DELICIOUS
The Margherita pizza is a typical Neapolitan style pizza widely believed to have been created in 1889 by Raffaele Esposito. He created it to honor the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. It also represents the Italian unification, honoring the colors of the Italian flag.
Where Can I Find The Best Margherita Pizza in Venice?
The debate on where to find the best pizza in Venice, is something that occurs at least weekly in our Facebook group. Everyone has their own very passionate opinions on which place has the BEST pizza. My personal opinion on the subject varies depending on the type of pizza I’m in the mood for, but that’s a discussion for another day. Right now, we’re focused on the Margherita.
Big Mike’s Pizza
More often than not, when searching for a good pizza, Big Mike’s is the first one mentioned. As one of the newer places in town, Big Mike’s is known for their friendliness and generosity towards the community and also for going above and beyond for their customers. Their classic margherita is exactly what you would expect, a light red sauce, delicious mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and basil leaves with a great balance of crunchy, chewy crust for a scrumptious bite.
Big Mike’s is located in South Venice.
1939 S Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34293
This specific Margherita pizza is not on the actual menu, it was made as a specialty pizza for one day only for slices and I’m drooling.
If you want it for yourself, you’ll have to order a white pie with fresh mozzarella, tomato, spinach, oregnao and a balsamic glaze. #WorthIt
Italiano’s has 2 locations in Venice and 1 in Englewood.
Italiano’s North – 1055 S ByPass US 41, Venice, FL 34285
Italiano’s South – 4191 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34293
Italiano’s in Englewood – 1823 Englewood Rd, Englewood, FL 34223
Made In Italy
Made in Italy is a wood fired oven pizza that is bubbly, smokey goodness. As a child growing up in New Jersey, I referred to this kind of pizza as “fancy pants” pizza because it always seemed more luxurious than the standard pizza place. Made in Italy definitely delivers on this classic margherita.
Made in Italy is located on Venice Island.
117 W Venice Ave Venice, FL 34285
Other Notable Margherita Pizzas in Venice:
- Amore’s Pizza
- Cucina Gloria
- Asaro’s Pizza
- The Soda Fountain
How To Make Cast Iron Margherita Pizza
If you are looking to make this at home, it is relatively simple to accomplish. This version combines all of the above with a well-seasoned cast-iron cooking surface and a super-hot 500°F oven to deliver a delightfully crispy crust with a soft, but not overly chewy, interior.
Why Should I Use Cast Iron?
It’s no secret that large cast iron skillets are great for making deep dish pizzas at home, but there are a couple of drawbacks to this application. For starters, it is challenging to cut the pizza without damaging that highly coveted well-seasoned surface that makes cast iron cookware so famous. What’s more, it is also difficult to transfer the whole pizza from the skillet to a safe cutting surface to avoid this problem. For this reason, the flat surface of a 10½-inch square cast iron combo grill/griddle* is used here instead. Because it doesn’t have high sides, this piece makes it super easy to slide the finished pizza onto a more suitable surface before slicing.
What are the Best Tomatoes to Use For Margherita Pizza?
San Marzano tomatoes are often used for the Margherita, partly because they are less watery than other varieties. If they are not available locally, you can substitute other varieties, as well. The variety shown here are Campari, which are rounder and juicier than the San Marzano. If you are worried about a soggy crust, chop the tomatoes instead of slicing them and strain for excess liquid before placing on top.
Cast Iron Margherita Pizza
- Lodge LSRG3 Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Grill/Griddle, 10.5-inch
- 1½ cup very warm water 110˚-115°F
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp white or brown sugar
- 1 tsp table salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 4 c. all-purpose flour divided
- Non-stick cooking spray
Toppings Ingredients (for one pizza):
- 1/3 cup pizza sauce
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- 3 small Campari tomatoes sliced
- 4 oz. fresh Mozzarella sliced
- 3 oz. low-moisture Mozzarella shredded
- 3 tbsp fresh basil sliced (+ small sprigs for garnish)
- Crushed red pepper flakes optional, for garnish
- 1.To proof the yeast, add the warm water to a large bowl, followed by the yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2.Add salt and two tablespoons olive oil to the same bowl and stir to combine. Gradually add two-and-a-half cups flour, one-half cup at a time, stirring continually until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.
3.Sprinkle flour onto a clean work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the prepared work surface and knead in the remaining flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Shape dough into a ball and add to a clean bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Tip: It will take approximately 3½ cups of all-purpose flour for the dough to reach the correct consistency. (If the dough is still sticky at that point, work in a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time, just until no longer sticky). The additional flour in the ingredients list is for the work surface and your hands while working with the dough.
4.When the dough is almost ready, place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat the oven to 500°F.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. After a couple of minutes, divide the dough in half and roll out one half on a clean, well-floured surface until it is a little bit larger than the surface of your cast iron skillet or griddle, as shown.