Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homemade Pizzas - Three ways

I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine and whenever I can make something at home that can be more healthful and tasty, I'm up for the challenge.  This month's issue had summer pizzas featured and with the summer approaching, the school year winding down and a house guest, Christina, my girlfriend's sister staying with us, it all came together.  Off to Fairway we went and with magazine in hand, we gathered the ingredients for three types of pizzas.  A spinach and mozzarella/ricotta cheese (part skim), a vegetarian pizza made with whole wheat dough and a white clam, garlic, shredded pecorino cheese and herb pizza, inspired by the pizzas I've had at Frank Pepe's in Connecticut.  Whenever I am near a Pepe's, hopefully the one in Mohegan Sun, I have to order this pizza.  The pizza preparations took place over two evenings, after school this week and we were all pleased.  Cynthia brought home the tools that ensured my successful foray into the world of homemade pizza making. 

Three Cheese White Pizza
  • 1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach 
  • 1 container marinated artichokes
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 
  • 4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about a cup) 
  • 2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal 
  1. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
  3. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sliced garlic in a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes or until the garlic begins to sizzle. Add 6 cups spinach; sauté 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Set aside.
  4. Combine cheeses, milk, and minced garlic in a bowl.
  5. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, and pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone; place dough on pizza stone. Spread cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned. Top with spinach; bake an additional 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven; brush outer crust with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Cut into 6 large slices.
Inspired by Ann Taylor Pittman, but not truly followed.  I placed everything on the pizza together and let it cook for 15 minutes (at 10 minutes I broiled it under low broil for two minutes and then turned it back to bake for three minutes).

The other two pizzas followed the same techniques.  The White Clam Pizza was inspired by this site.

 Step by mostly step for all three pizzas...

The basics, thought the pizza stone produced a much better final product. A firm, crispy and chewy pizza!

Rolling out the refrigerated dough, remember that flour is your friend.

Preferably use a pizza stone, sprinkled with course cornmeal.  We used a metal pan for this one.

Sliced mozzarella and some olive oil.

Add ricotta, baby spinach and marinated artichokes.

Our fist pizza is assembled.

It was in the oven for about 15 minutes at 500 degrees, with a two minute period on low broil to brown crust.

The finished product.

Two slices please.

Christina was pleased.
Looks good, right?

On to the veggies version.  Slice them up nicely.
Like this.

I added some ricotta dots and sliced kalamata olives.

Whole Wheat pizza with zucchini, squash, red peppers, black olives and ricotta.

And now the mother of them all, the white clam pizza!

Chopped clams, minced garlic, sprinkled dried oregano, basil, pecorino romano and drizzled olive oil.

Into the oven on the pizza stone, with corn meal sprinkled on the preheated stone.

It was divine!

Sans one slice.  This pizza, cooked on the stone was crispy and firm.  Truly an excellent pizza.  Good Luck!

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