Friday, January 26, 2007

Pizza with Tomato, Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula

This is a tasty alternative to take out pizza.  It comes from a great cookbook, Simple Pleasures, which has given me a surprising number of stellar meals in the past month or two.  Give it a try!

Pizza with Tomato, Ricotta, Prosciutto, and Arugula
adapted from Simple Pleasures by Alfred Portale

All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface
1 1/4 pounds raw pizza dough
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1/3 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma
2 cups arugula, stems removed
6 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade

The original recipes calls for grilling the flattened and sauced pizza dough at 425 degrees for 1-2 minutes however this doesn't work in January, so I brushed the dough with olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper and then baked at 500 degrees until puffed and removed before any color developed on the edges.

Spread the pizza sauce lightly over the surface and distribute spoonfuls of ricotta (or fresh mozzarella) around the surface of the pizza. Scatter the Parmesan cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 3 minutes.

Remove and arrange the prosciutto slices and arugula attractively over the pizzas. Drizzle with olive oil, top with basil, and season with salt and pepper.

Pizza Sauce
2/3 cup tomato paste
2 T olive oil
2 t finely chopped rinsed anchovy fillets
1/2 t finely chopped garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t coarse salt

In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients.

Pizza Dough

¼ cup white wine
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. salt
½ Tbsp yeast
In a bowl combine everything except flour. Let mixture sit for 4-5 minutes. Next, stir in flour ½ cup at a time until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Continue adding flour until the dough is not sticky. Turn out onto floured counter and knead until dough forms a smooth ball. (2-3 minutes) Rub a small amount of olive oil on dough and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and then a towel. Place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. Dough should double in size.

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