This year, we celebrated the New Year with 4 different types of homemade pizza!
My father-in-law, The Don, made the pizza dough from scratch during the day and let it rise. He made enough dough for 4 pizzas:
- Roasted Cherry Tomato, Eggplant and Mozzarella
- Marinara, Mozzarella, Black Olive and Basil
- Pesto, Spinach and Artichoke
- Filet, Mushroom and Provolone
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Other than the recipe for the pizza dough, which was mixed in the bread machine,we did not use recipes for these pizzas. The Don found inspiration in his favorite cookbooks and online, but truth be told we used a lot of leftovers mixed with a few fresh ingredients for our creations.
We made the pizzas over the course of the evening, one at a time, so we could sample and enjoy each one on its own. After the first two pizzas we shared a big salad. My personal favorite? The pesto, spinach & artichoke pizza.
The Don’s Pesto, Spinach and Artichoke Pizza
Where to start? Make pizza dough* from scratch** or buy it pre-made from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. No pizza stone or baking steel? No problem. We used Goldtouch half sheet pans from Williams Sonoma. Sprinkle the pans with semolina flour. Then gently stretch the dough in the air with your hands before shaping it into a rectangle on the pan.
* Smitten Kitchen has a good recipe for homemade pizza dough.
**If you would like the pizza dough recipe we used, which requires a bread maker, just leave me a note in the comments section.
Brush the pizza dough with 1-2 T. olive oil. Spread with 1/4 c+ of pesto. Then, sprinkle with 2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves. Next, add 1 c. chopped artichoke hearts (canned or if frozen, thawed) on top of the pizza. Finally, sprinkle with 1/3 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese. Season with a little freshly ground black pepper. Hold off on the salt (pesto + cheese = lots of saltiness). Bake at 475 F (convection)/ 500F (regular oven) for 12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown, cheese is bubbly and pizza is cooked through. Enjoy!
Note: I enjoyed this pizza so much, I had the last remaining slice for breakfast this morning (with a Clementine, of course).