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Friday, May 31, 2013

White Pizza

Tonight we made a delicious White Pizza that is not just a great meatless dinner, it would also be wonderful sliced into small squares and served as an appetizer.  Honestly, this was so good, you could even slice it into wedges and serve it instead of  garlic bread with your favorite Italian dinner.

The inspiration for this sauce-less pizza came from a local Italian restaurant that recently started selling a similar pie.  Although their pizza had a pretty good crust, the problem with their version was a total lack of seasoning!  Not even salt and pepper!  So what could have been a great meal was totally bland and sad.  But I knew how to fix that, so I was ready to create our own version of this interesting pizza.

We used our standard Bread Machine Pizza Dough, or you could use a store bought pizza dough, which is actually pretty good and it does save time when you are in a rush.  A light dusting of garlic powder to the crust adds a great burst of flavor, then you're ready to pre-bake the crust.

After cooking the crust for a few minutes, and the crust is lightly browned, you are ready to add the toppings.  Ricotta cheese, blended with garlic powder, salt, and just a touch of white pepper create a light base, then a layer of sautéed baby spinach and a light sprinkle of mozzarella cheese complete the pizza and it's ready to bake.  After the pizza was finished, we applied a light drizzle of olive oil across the whole pizza and served.

This pizza got rave reviews, even from the picky eater in the family, and she even requested we make this again next week.  (Gasp! That is the ultimate compliment.)  Enjoy!!

1 lb  Pizza Dough  (half of the Bread Machine Pizza Crust Recipe or 1 pre-made dough)
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
6 oz  Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  White Pepper
2-1/2 cups  Fresh Baby Spinach, washed and stems removed
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt, and white pepper, and set aside.

Coat a pizza pan or baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, spreading oil all the way to the edges.  Place the pizza dough on the pan and spread the dough out with your hands to flatten, turning 2 or 3 times to coat the dough with olive oil, and spreading the dough all the way to the edge of the pan.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, then add the spinach to the pan.  Stir the spinach frequently as it begins to shrink, and continue to stir a few minutes until the spinach is wilted.  Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden and no longer shiny from the olive oil, and remove from the oven.

Spread the ricotta mixture in an even layer over the entire pizza, then apply the spinach leaves, followed by a layer of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.  For a final touch, drizzle the pizza lightly with olive oil before serving.

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