“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pizza Bianco

Ciao!! Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like pizza? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Pizza is just the perfect food. You have all your basic food groups covered. Fresh, yummy bread. Gooey and creamy cheese and juicy tomatoes. Well, except that this pizza doesn’t have tomatoes. This is Pizza Bianco or white pizza. And yes, I am aware that there are other food groups, like nutella, sausage and pasta. My favorite food groups.

Pizza was originally created in Naples, Italy (no wonder I love it so
much, I’m Napolitano!) and has clearly left its mark. Pizza can be found on pretty much every street corner. When I was in Ischia (an island off the coast of Naples) my mother and I had pizza pretty much every night for dinner. We had classic Neapolitan pizza marinara which is made with tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil, Pizza Margherita made with tomato, mozzarella, bail and olive oil and so many different kinds, if I told you all of them, we would be here all day!

My Pizza Bianco is made with a nice, chewy whole wheat crust and is topped with ricotta, garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper and Italian parsley. If you’re looking to switch things up, it’s a nice change from a classic red gravy pizza. By gravy, I mean sauce. I’m Italian, we call it gravy. The pizza dough is prepared first, then your roasted garlic oil and finally your ricotta mix. The garlic oil is drizzled on when the pie is finished and fresh out of the oven.

I know it seems so easy to pick up a phone and just get a pizza delivered, but it is SO much more fun to make homemade pizza and it’s so satisfying!! Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 packet of yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
3 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of cool water
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon of salt

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water. Add the honey and let it sit for five minutes until foamy.
Put the flour in a food processor (make sure it has a stainless-steel blade.) Mix the 1 cup of cool water with the olive oil and salt. While the food processor is on, add the olive oil mix and the yeast. Mix until it is formed a ball.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead dough for a minute or so. Roll or stretch your dough onto an oiled pizza pan (or if you’re like me, I like square pizza and use a cookie sheet!)

Roasted Garlic Oil

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
½ cup olive oil

Prepare a small pan over medium heat with ½ cup of olive oil and add your chopped garlic. Let it cook until the garlic is roasted and slightly browned, but not burnt!! Turn off the heat and let it sit while you make the ricotta mix.

Ricotta Mix

16 ounces of ricotta
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Parsley (chopped and quanto basta!)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a medium size bowl, thoroughly mix your ricotta with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and parsley.

Now that you have everything set, spread the ricotta mix all over the pizza and put in the oven for at least 20 minutes or bake until the crust is crisp and browned. Everyone’s oven is different, so just make sure you don’t burn the pizza! Transfer to a cutting board and drizzle with the roasted garlic oil and let it sit for five minutes before cutting and serving. Buon Appetito!!