Sunday, June 3, 2012

White Pizza with Garlic Shrimp, Broccoli Rabe & Tomatoes

Not having anywhere to go on a Saturday afternoon has its gives you time to make homemade pizza!


Pizza bianca 

I love making homemade pizza but don't often have time to make my own dough. A lot of times we'll just pick some up at the grocery store or at our local pizza spot, Tony's. Making the dough isn't hard, but it needs to rest for at least an hour, which I'm usually too impatient for. Yesterday, though, I got my act together and made the dough around 4:00, so by dinnertime it was ready to go. This dough recipe makes a really flavorful crust that's crunchy around the edges and bottom, but soft and doughy inside (especially in the coveted corner pieces with all the extra crust!). 

I hadn't gone grocery shopping yet so I rummaged through the fridge to find toppings, and came up with half a container of ricotta cheese, one tomato, mozzarella, and some broccoli rabe that was on its last legs. I also had a handful of shrimp in the freezer. Not a shabby list of toppings!

I had to pick through the broccoli rabe and toss a bunch of wilted stems, but the remaining handful of florets actually ended up being the perfect amount. To make my broccoli rabe, I cook it for 2-3 minutes in heavily salted boiling water, then drain it and transfer it to a saucepan. 

In the saucepan, I sauté it quickly with a little olive oil, lots of fresh garlic, and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. When using it as a pizza topping, I also give it a rough chop so that every bite has some greenery.

For a white pie, the mozzarella goes down first, followed by dollops of ricotta cheese and all the veggies. I have a round pizza stone I would normally use, but I forgot to preheat it with the oven (if you don't preheat pizza stones, they can crack), so I stuck with the old cookie sheet and it worked fine.

Bake it up at 475 for 15 minutes and you've got one good Saturday night pie.

I served this pizza with wedges of lemon on the side. A fresh squeeze of lemon right before eating really perks up the ricotta cheese and makes everything taste fresh. No marinara sauce needed! 

We ate our slices on TV trays in the living room while watching DVR'd episodes of An Idiot Abroad, my new favorite [talk about dry humor] show. A great weekend night at home. :)

White Pizza with Garlic Shrimp, Broccoli Rabe & Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 pizza dough (either store bough or homemade, recipe below)
6 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
8 oz. low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups cooked broccoli rabe, chopped
2 oz. shrimp
1 vine ripened tomato, seeds removed and chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

To make the shrimp, bring a saute pan to medium-low heat and spray with cooking spray. Peel the shrimp and dry on paper towels, then toss with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side, until pink and opaque. Remove from heat, chop and set aside.

Roll out the dough or press it into a 9 x 13 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spread mozzarella cheese evenly over the dough. Drop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese on top. Then top with cooked broccoli rabe, cooked shrimp and tomato. Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is slightly golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Everyday Pizza Dough

Makes 2 pizza crusts
Adapted from Pizza Dough by Joy of Cooking

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 Tbsp. salt

Combine water and yeast in a bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients and mix by hand or on low speed of a stand mixer for about 1 minutes. The knead for about 10 minutes, either by hand or with the dough hook on medium-low speed, until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a bowl lightly coated with cooking spray or oil, and turn it once to coat it with oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place (such as near the stove/oven) until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Divide dough in half. The dough can be used immediately, stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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