Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza is the simplest of pizzas with the basic ingredients of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It is an “End of Summer delight”.

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Margherita Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

1 lb. Best Pizza Dough Ever divided into quarters
1 14.5 oz San Marzano tomato-based pizza sauce
1 lb fresh mozzarella
1 lb grated good-quality mozzarella
1 dozen vine-ripe medium tomatoes, Roma preferred, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
Fresh basil leaves, torn, with more fresh basil, thinly sliced for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven and baking steel or stone to 500F using True Convection setting if you have it.

On a large cutting board lightly dusted with flour rollout the first of the dough quarters. Move to a corn meal dusted pizza peel. Brush the outer 1 1/2-inch rim of the dough with oil. Ladle a light coating of pizza sauce over the the majority of the dough. Place slices of tomato on top of the sauce leaving some room between for torn pieces of fresh mozzarella. Place the fresh mozzarella on the pizza and then a thin layer of the grated mozzarella over top.

Bake for 12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and brown and the crust is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough quarters and topping ingredients.

Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes before slicing to serve, Garnish with the sliced basil.

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Seasoned Lamb Pizza

Seasoned Lamb Pizza is yet another variation on the classic dish.

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Seasoned Lamb Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Makes (4) 12-inch pizzas

3 garlic cloves, finely grated using a microplane
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried crushed rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup parsley leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
8 oz crumbled feta
8 oz torm mozzarella pieces
16 oz prepared pizza dough, divided into quarters

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon, rosemary, cumin, paprika, salt and minced onion. In medium bowl, break up the ground lamb then add the seasoned tomato paste mixture and mix to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.

Preheat oven and baking steel or stone to 450F using the true convection setting, if you have it.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out to roughly 12-inch diameter. Place one quarter of the seasoned lamb over the dough in pieces. Fill in gaps between the lamb with a combination of the two cheeses. Brush the edge of the dough with oil and drizzle oil over the pizza. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and brush the edge of the crust with oil. Keep warm until serving. Repeat with the remaining three doughs.

To serve; Drizzle with good olive oil and lemon juice and top with red onion slices and torn parsley leaves.

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Breakfast Pizza with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Breakfast Pizza with Dijon Mustard Sauce doesn’t necessarily have to be served for breakfast but given the ingredients it certainly could be. Using Dijon mustard under the meat, greens and cheese gives this pizza a unique but somehow not strange flavor.

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Breakfast Pizza with Dijon Mustard Sauce
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Makes (4) 12-inch-diameter pizzas

2 lbs. pizza dough divided into 4 equal pieces
8 Tbsp Dijon mustard, divided
1 lb coarsely grated Romano and mozzarella, divided
1 lb thinly sliced ham or prosciutto cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Bunch of greens (such as, spinach leaves, flat leaf parsley, sage, and or basil leaves)
Dozen large fresh eggs
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven and baking stone or steel for 475F convection baking.

Working in 4 batches, spread an even layer of mustard over a dough that has been rolled out to 12-inches in diameter. Top with a quarter of the ham strips, add a quarter of the greens, top with a quarter of the grated cheese. Brush the rim of the pizza dough with oil. Crack three eggs near the middle of the pizza. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the egg whites are set. Serve warm.

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World’s Best Pizza Dough with Craft Beer

World’s Best Pizza Dough with Craft Beer substitutes craft pilsner or lager beer for the water Ample Bites uses in the other version of World’s Best Pizza Dough.

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World’s Best Pizza Dough with Craft Beer
(Mark Kelly, 2016)

Makes enough dough for (4) 12-inch diameter pizzas

3 cups farina 00 flour
1 1/4 cups craft lager or pilsner beer, at room temperature
1 (1/4-oz.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Microwave the beer in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH for 35 seconds. The beer should reach a temperature of 105-110F. Stir in the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add oil to the beer-yeast mixture. In a mixer, combine the flour with a healthy pinch of salt. Add the beer-yeast mixture to the flour and beat with a dough hook until thoroughly combined. Remove the dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover with a moist towel and keep in a warm place, preferably an oven on Proof-setting at 100F. Let the dough rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours before forming pizzas.

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Artichoke, Spinach, Prosciutto Flatbread with Spicy Honey

Artichoke, Spinach, Prosciutto Flatbread with Spicy Honey is a sauceless but especially tasty pizza.

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Artichoke, Spinach, Prosciutto Flatbread with Spicy Honey
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Epicurious, 2015)

Serves 4

Extra-virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 (9-oz.) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 lb pizza dough
2 cups freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus more cheese shaved for garnish
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
3 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine honey and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature while preparing and baking flatbreads.

In a large skillet over medium heat bring 2 tablespoons of oil to a shimmer. Add garlic and parsley and cook, stirring 30 seconds. Add artichokes, toss to coat, and cook, covered, until the artichokes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Uncover and add spinach. Cook until just wilted. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in lemon zest. Set aside.

Sprinkle two large, rimmed baking sheets with cornmeal. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to a 12-inch-by-7-inch oval. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush the edges of each dough with oil.

Sprinkle each dough with 1/2 cup Parmesan, then top with half of the artichoke-spinach mixture. Top doughs with remaining Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until crust is golden brown, 20-22 minutes.

Remove flatbreads from oven. Top with prosciutto and drizzle with spicy honey then garnish with shaved Parmesan. Cut and serve along with a side salad of choice.

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Greek Chicken Pizza with Olive Tapenade

Greek Chicken Pizza with Olive Tapenade is built off of a par-baked mozzarella-sprinkled flatbread and finished with a tzatziki sauce, a garlicky Kalamata olive tapenade, slices of chicken and pepper slices. This recipe was inspired by my son, Nolan, and his Greek Chicken Pizza on a Pita.

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Greek Chicken Pizza with Olive Tapenade
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Makes 4 12-inch Pizzas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Greek Seasoning (such as Cavender’s All-Purpose)
Extra-virgin olive oil

Pizza dough (See previous Ample Bites post “Best Pizza Dough”)

16 oz. plain greek yogurt
4 oz. light sour cream
Greek Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

1 14-ounce jar kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

1 large red pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered and sliced
1 small green pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered and sliced
8 oz. creamy plain goat cheese
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing crusts and for drizzling

To prepare the chicken breasts: About 30 minutes before cooking the chicken season all sides with Greek seasoning and let sit at room temperature. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until a good sear is made. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Turn the heat to low and cover with a large pan lid and cook for another 5 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160F. Remove an allow to rest. Slice the chicken just before baking the pizzas.

To prepare the Tzatziki Sauce: Combine the yogurt, sour cream, 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning, lemon juice, parsley, basil and grated parmesan. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

To prepare the Olive Tapenade: Combine the olives, garlic, and parsley in a food processor with a few dashes of oil and black pepper to taste. Pulse until nicely chopped but not smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Pulse the shredded mozzarella and remaining fresh basil in a food processor until nearly smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 500F for baking with baking stone or steel in the oven as it warms. Roll out a quarter of the pizza dough on a flour-coated board. Brush with oil from edge-to-edge sprinkle with a quarter of the basil-mozzeralla mix. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove to a warm oven and repeat with the remaining dough.

With each cooked dough, spread a quarter of the tzatziki sauce, top with chicken slices, olive tapenade, goat cheese, and peppers. Bake for 5 minutes more until the goat cheese melts and the vegetables warm and soften. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

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Mixed Mushroom and Scallion Pizza

Mixed Mushroom and Scallion Pizza combines mushrooms, bacon, fresh green scallions and a rich cheesy Béchamel sauce into a decadent pizza.

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Mixed Mushroom and Scallion Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Makes 4 12-inch-diameter pizzas

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups 2% milk
1 lb. mixed shredded Italian cheeses, such as romano, parmesan, asiago, fontina, divided
3 scallions, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
3 cups mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and thinly sliced
6 strips of crispy bacon cut into 1 1/2″ squares
Cornmeal, for dusting
Pizza Dough (See previous post titled “The Best Pizza Dough”)
Extra-virgin olive oil, to brush
Very good extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Place baking stone or baking steel in the oven and preheat the oven to 475F.

To prepare the béchamel sauce; cook the garlic in 1/2 cup of oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to sizzle. Ladle out the garlic chunks and discard them. Gradually whisk in the flour until lightly golden, another 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk until the béchamel is smooth and thickened, another 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in two-thirds of the cheese, reserving the rest to top the pizzas.

On a flour-dusted cutting board, roll out a quarter of the pizza dough and brush the dough to the edges with oil. Ladle and spread a layer of béchamel sauce to evenly over the dough. Place a quarter of the scallion strips, a quarter of the bacon pieces, and a quarter of the mushrooms on the pizza. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza and sprinkle the remaining quarter of the shredded cheese on the pizza. Bake for another 3 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Repeat for the remaining 3 quarters of the ingredients.

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Scallop and Bacon Pizza

Scallop and Bacon Pizza uses a béchamel sauce, or white cheese sauce, in lieu of the traditional tomato based sauce. The ingredients are simple but rich. Slices of sea scallops and pieces of thick, crispy bacon provide the featured flavors.

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Scallop and Bacon Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Makes 4 12-inch-diameter pizzas

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups 2% milk
1 lb. mixed shredded Italian cheeses, such as romano, parmesan, asiago, fontina
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp and cut into 1″ squares
6 sea scallops, sliced 1/4″ thick and patted dry
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
Chopped parsley to garnish
Cornmeal, for dusting
Pizza Dough (See previous post titled “The Best Pizza Dough”)
Extra-virgin olive oil, to brush
Very good extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Place baking stone or baking steel in the oven and preheat the oven to 475F.

To prepare the béchamel sauce; cook the garlic in 1/2 cup of oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to sizzle. Ladle out the garlic chunks and discard them. Gradually whisk in the flour until lightly golden, another 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk until the béchamel is smooth and thickened, another 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in two-thirds of the cheese, reserving the rest to top the pizzas.

On a flour-dusted cutting board, roll out a quarter of the pizza dough and brush the dough to the edges with oil. Ladle and spread a layer of béchamel sauce to evenly over the dough. Place a quarter of the bacon pieces and a quarter of the onions on the pizza. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza and place a quarter of the scallop medallions on the pizza and sprinkle a quarter of the remaining cheese over top. Bake for another 3 minutes. Garnish with parsley and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Repeat for the remaining 3 quarters of the ingredients.

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Another Delicious Sauceless Pizza

Another Delicious Sauceless Pizza features good extra-virgin olive oil, mushrooms, basil, prosciutto, cappocola, cheeses, and fresh mozzarella and gorgonzola. Ample Bites likes pizza with tomato-based pizza sauce as much as the next guy but these pizzas come out crispy golden with the flavors of the cheeses, basil and oil jumping.

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Another Delicious Sauceless Pizza
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Makes 4 12-inch-diameter pizzas

8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz. fresh basil leaves, torn
6 oz. cappocola, sliced into strips
6 oz. prosciutto, sliced into strips
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
8 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
Pizza Dough (See previous post titled “The Best Pizza Dough”)
Extra-virgin olive oil, to brush
Very good extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Place baking stone or baking steel in the oven and preheat the oven to 500F.

On a flour-dusted cutting board, roll out the pizza dough and brush the dough to the edges with oil. Thinly layer the mushrooms and basil over the dough. Place the sliced meats on the pizza overlapping them slightly, if necessary. Top with crumbled gorgonzola and pieces of the fresh mozzarella.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

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Pissaladiere

Pissaladiere is a versatile recipe that produces a dish that can be used as an entree, and appetizer or just a little snack. The diamond pattern on the finished pizza-like product gives a festive appearance to a relatively simple dish.

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Pissaladiere
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of The Tucci Table, Stanley Tucci, 2014)

Serves 8

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 lbs onions, finely sliced
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Leaves from 8 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tsp light brown sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pizza dough
20 large anchovy fillets
1 cup pitted large black olives

In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions and soften them for 5 to 10 minutes, then add the garlic, thyme, and brown sugar. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the onions start to caramelize and are tender. This could take an hour or more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425F.

After the pizza dough has risen once. Lightly oil two 10-by-14 baking sheets and sprinkle each with a little flour. Divide the dough and spread it out on each tray pushing it to the edge of the pans. Cover the doughs with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes.

When the doughs have proofed again, remove the plastic wrap and spread the onions over top. Place the anchovies on top in a diamond pattern and place an olive in the middle of each diamond. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the onions are hot.

Serve hot, room temperature or cold.

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