I’ve wanted to make a white pizza for some time now …. I haven’t had a white pizza or a “specialty” pizza for quite awhile… living here in Georgia… there just doesn’t seem to be good pizzeria that makes specialty pizzas…. actually there aren’t many … or come to think of it… any besides the chain pizzerias.
I must admit coming from New York… and that’s upstate New York, mind you… I am somewhat spoiled. I’m used to the typical pizzerias owned by Italian immigrants or at least third generation Italian pizzerias that make all kinds of pizzas. Foods seem to be far less inventive here in this smaller city in southern Georgia.
There is this pizzeria in upstate New York….... Pizza King... very much like the “Soup Nazi’s Store” in New York City (remember the Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi….a long counter of many different soups… stand in line to order… you best know what you want when you get to the counter otherwise the gruff owner shouts…”No Soup for You!” and banishes you….) …
Well this pizzeria has all kinds of specialty pizzas….... and you best know what you want when it’s your turn to order lest be told order or leave… and leave quickly… just kidding...sort of...but you have to understand after all the line behind you at lunch time is a line full of hungry workers on a lunch hour… and this is the pizza place to be.
What kinds of specialty pizzas?… you might ask…. 30 different kinds... Everything you might expect… and everything you would never think of…. white pizzas with ricotta and broccoli.... and Chicken Scampi pizza… Eggplant Parmigiano pizza … Philly Cheese Steak and Hawaiian with Bacon...to name a few….and yes …they really put that stuff on a pizza…. of course he has the typical topping pizzas too…. but why get typical pizza when you can get extraordinay.. I miss them... I so wish I had their recipes! (their photos are by Isaiah Mays)
I wanted pizza … but not the usual chain pizzeria pizza with all the typical toppings… the beauty of making your own pizza… you can put whatever you want on it…. so hunting for recipes with different toppings I went.
Recipes for white pizza were either based with a garlicy cream sauce… or ricotta with mozzarella or provolone… so I had to decide that first… garlicy cream sauce or ricotta… I decided on ricotta… because Warren loves Baked Ziti and I’d have a better shot of him liking this that way.
I found a recipe by Rachael Ray…. I read the reviews… people either loved it or hated it… the negative reviews all were the same… too bland… which after looking at the ingredients… I had to agree…. So I continued hunting for ideas to spice up the ricotta….
I wanted to try something different with it… I found a recipe somewhere… unfortunately I didn’t save the web address… and for the life of me can’t find again… that used a five ounce container of garlic and herb boursin cheese mixed in the ricotta… It intrigued me and I had a container in the fridge… so I decided on that… which by the way …. was a great choice… I even used a light version.
The rest of the recipe… well… is a mix of what I normally put in my ricotta mixture for baked ziti and the two toppings … thinly sliced onions and chopped roasted red peppers… were just two things I thought sounded good with the white pizza… and they were…
The bad news is… Warren didn’t like it… he liked the onion and roasted red pepper part but wasn’t crazy about the ricotta… he isn’t a cheese lover…. sometimes I don’t know why I try converting him… I love cheese and if you’re cheese lover like me.. you will like this pizza… otherwise make the pizza with a garlicy cream sauce and add the onions and red peppers.
See my Pizza recipe for steps on how to make the pizza dough.
When rolling out the dough… don’t make it too thin… the pizza is a little heavier than the normal tomato sauced pizza…. I wouldn’t make it too thick either…
You will need to trim the dough after rolling it out… you will have about a handful of dough left over.
Cut the onion in half and then slice it very thin.
I chopped fresh parsley, a few sprigs with stems removed, and the cloves of garlic together in my mini chopper… this way the garlic is finely chopped and totally incorporated with the parsley.
When spreading the cheese mixture… spread it evenly but make sure you have a decent size crust rolled at the edge to keep it in the pizza and not run off into your oven. If you use a smaller than 16 inch pizza size… don’t use it all.
Make sure you bake this at 400 degrees F… I baked mine at 450 degrees because that’s the temperature Rachael Ray’s recipe uses…. I shouldn’t have done that… my pizza recipes, using my dough recipe, is at 400 degrees F….. which is better… at 450 degrees it comes out way too crispy.
Since I reduced the temperature in the recipe… you pizza will probably come out a little lighter in color than the top picture… it will be creamier… which is what you want.
I forgot to take a picture before putting it in the oven... this picture was after being in the oven about 10 minutes.
If you don’t like onions or roasted red peppers… be inventive try different toppings… spinach or sliced tomato would be great on this too.
Recipe: Cheese Lover’s White Pizza with Onions and Roasted Red Peppers
All you need:
Pizza dough for a 16 inch pizza (store bought or homemade)
1 container (15 ounce) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 container (5 ounce) boursin cheese
A few sprigs of parsley, stems removed, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
About ½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Olive oil cooking spray
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray the pizza pan with olive oil cooking spray. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, boursin cheese, parsley, garlic, parmesan and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Roll out the pizza dough and lay over the 16 inch pizza pan.
Let it hang over the sides a bit… leaving about an inch… trim excess.
Gently push the dough around the sides to fit into pan.
Using a fork poke holes randomly around dough.
Lightly spray with cooking oil spray.
Spread the ricotta evenly over the crust. *See tips in post.
Spread the onions over the crust.
Spread the roasted red peppers over the onions.
Sprinkle the mozzarella over the entire pizza.
Roll the dough “over-hang” to form a crust around the pizza.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is brown.
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