Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
This pizza has tons of flavor. The recipe will make 1 15-inch pizza. The baking time assumes you will be using a pizza stone. If you are using an aluminum pizza pan (or a smaller pizza stone), you will have to compensate. The pizza dough calls for the use of a bread machine, but feel free to make your dough the traditional way as well. Also, although this looks like a long recipe, it comes together quite quickly...especially if you prepare the pesto and toppings while the pizza dough is in the bread machine. Prep time includes rising time as well as cooking time. If you make this completely from scratch, you will have a nice gormet-quality pizza. Alternately, you can take some shortcuts, and throw this pizza together in no time. Use a purchases pizza shell, some pesto from a jar, and even some well drained frozen spinach, and you can have this pizza ready in minutes!
Pizza Dough (using a bread machine)
- 1⁄2 cup warm water (not too hot)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons yeast
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1⁄2 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1⁄3 cup pine nuts
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 -4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut
- 1 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup asiago cheese, shredded
- Put the pizza dough ingredients in to a breadmaker (in the order specified by your breadmachine), and process on pizza dough cycle.
- When cycle completes, remove the dough from the machine and put it in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray; cover it and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, roll out the dough and put it on a greased 15 inch pizza stone sprinkled with some corn meal.
- Bake in 375F oven for about 5 minutes. Because the toppings on this pizza will generate some moisture, pre-baking the crust for a few minutes will prevent the pizza from becoming soggy. There's nothing worse than a soggy pizza! After pre-baking the crust, remove the pizza from the oven, and raise the temperature to 430°F If your pesto and toppings aren't ready yet, cover the crust with a cloth and set aside while preparing the toppings.
- While pizza dough is processing, make the pesto. You will have more pesto than you will need for the pizza. But, it is better to have a little too much, than to come up short! Just save the extra in the fridge and use for something else. In a food processor or blender, blend the basil, garlic and pine nuts.
- Slowly add the oil and continue to blend.
- Add the parmesan cheese and blend until creamy.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Set the pesto aside.
- Prepare the pizza toppings. Slice the mushrooms, chop the spinach fairly fine, julienne cut the sundried tomatoes; shred the 2 cheeses and mix the cheeses together.
- Prepare the pizza! Spread the pesto on the pizza dough. Depending on your preference, you will probably want between 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of pesto. Spread it right out to the edges.
- Add the toppings; first the spinach, then the mushrooms, then the sun-dried tomatoes, and finally the cheeses.
- Bake in a 430F oven for about 15 minutes.
Very good - I actually have made my own version of this kind of pizza many times - I almost entered it, but chose something else instead.... so I knew we would like it! Great job & good luck! Made and reviewed for RSC #11 contest - Feb. 2008.