This pizza bianca uses no tomato sauce, instead creamy ricotta is mixed with blanched spinach, roasted garlic and grated mozzarella and is quite the delicious thing!
Fresh from the garden: spinach, garlic, basil
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: 4 medium pizze
· Medium stockpot
· Measures – cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
· Bowls – large, med
· Chopping boards & knives
· Salad spinner
· 2 baking trays
· Pastry brush
· Wide egg lifter
· Pizza cutting wheel
· Serving plates
· A 500g quantity of Hugh’s Magic Dough
· 1 head of garlic
· Extra virgin olive oil
· 2 cups ricotta cheese
· A large sprig basil
· A teaspoon of dried oregano
· Cooking salt
· Flaked salt and black pepper
· A big bunch of spinach
· 225g mozzarella cheese
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Divide your dough into two balls and leave to rest before working.
For the topping:
- Fill the medium stockpot with water and set it to boil with a tablespoon of salt.
- Separate out the garlic cloves – do not peel them! – then lay out a large square of foil and place the unpeeled garlic cloves on top. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of cooking salt. Fold the foil into a sealed but loose packet and place on a tray in the oven. Roast the garlic until soft for about 25 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of their skins, discarding the skins into the compost and reserving the garlic.
- Increase oven heat to 230C to prepare it for baking the pizza.
- Meanwhile wash the spinach in plenty of cold water and shake dry over the sink. Slice off the stems and then when the water in the pot is boiling, add all the leaves in to blanch together. Put the lid back on and cook for 3 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Carefully drain into a colander placed in the sink, then press out all the water with a wooden spoon. When as dry as can be, turn out onto a chopping board and finely chop.
- Wash the basil, pick off the leaves and spin dry, then tear into small pieces.
- Weigh the mozzarella cheese and then grate it.
- Add half of the peeled garlic cloves to a medium bowl. Smash with a fork. Add the ricotta, a tablespoon of olive oil, basil, oregano, a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Mix well.
Assembling the pizza:
- Lightly oil your baking trays and spread with a pastry brush.
- Roll and stretch out the pizza dough into two large rectangle shapes large enough to fill the baking trays, and then place on the greased baking trays.
- Top the crust with tablespoon-sized mounds of ricotta, as evenly spaced as possible. Scatter with the chopped spinach and remaining garlic cloves. Scatter mozzarella cheese over the top.
Baking the pizza:
- Bake at 230C until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese is melted and bubbling for about 10 minutes.
- Use this time to make the dough for the next class if needed.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before slicing into squares with a pizza cutter and serve.
Notes: What does to blanch mean? What happens to the garlic when it has been roasted?