Friday, May 29, 2009

Pesto Pizza with sliced tomatoes and sundried tomatoes

This a great, flavorful pizza. I always use FRESH MOZZARELLA cheese for my more italian style pizzas because it has better, creamier, richer flavor. However, feel free to substitute any grated mozzarella cheese if you are saving cash.

Crust: I am a huge advocate of the frozen pizza dough that is available in many grocery stores. In mine, it is a secret gem at only $1.50 per ball and that feeds about 3-4 people!
Let it thaw completely and rest for about 1 hour in a bowl with some olive oil on top, covered with saran wrap.

***NOTE: You can also often buy a dough ball from your local pizzeria. This is economical as well.

Once the crust is thawed and rested, punch it down and then slap it back and forth in your hands until it starts to open up. You can also stretch the dough and/or roll it out. Use flour if you want.

Preheat oven to 425. Spray pizza pan with a non-stick spray or canola oil. Lay crust on pan and bake for 5 mins. (You may need to poke the dough with a fork a few times to let air bubbles out.)

Brush or coat the top of your crust with olive oil and then a good amount of garlic salt sprinkled on the crust.

Put 1 large bunch of fresh basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup nice parmesan cheese, grated, and squeeze of lemon into a food processor or blender. I also add about 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend until smooth. Add in a couple TBSP. of water if you need to get it to move more freely. I don't use pine nuts for this sauce because of the added expense, but feel free to add them if you have them!

Slice your tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella into slices.

Take out your par-cooked crust and smear all of your pesto sauce all over the middle and out to the sides.

Top with tomato slices, sundried tomato pieces, and lots of fresh mozzarella.

Bake an additional 10 mins, THEN change oven to broil and broil for 3-5 mins.

***If you want to make it super decadent, add 5-6 small goat cheese rounds to the pizza too.

Top with additional fresh cut basil, if you wish.


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