Wednesday, April 09, 2008
PIZZA BIANCA WITH ARUGULA, BACON, AND MUSHROOMS
I’m on a roll in more ways than one—not only do I have a really great string of new recipes to share with you this week, but I’m well on my way to my goal of being able to eat a different kind of pizza every day of the week. Let’s see, in addition to my normal traditional tomato-sauce pizza, which I’ve honed to near-perfection after much practice, we’ve got the asparagus pizza, the butternut squash pizza, and a great improvisational pizza I occasionally throw together with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, and maybe some sausage. And now we can add…the bacon pizza.
Of course, bacon isn’t the focus of this dish (the recipe is from Cooking Light, after all), but that’s how I sold it to A: bacon pizza! With arugula and mushrooms and ricotta. And boy, those flavors go together just perfectly: creamy cheese, sweet onions and mushrooms (I really let those suckers get melty and caramelized on the stove, semi-accidentally but it was a stroke of genius I tell you), bitter greens, salty bacony bacon. I threw in some garlic, too, and it was a wise choice.
I just used Trader Joe’s pizza dough, so I haven’t replicated the crust recipe, but you can find the original instructions here. I was also a bit less fussy than Cooking Light about healthiness: I may have used three strips of bacon instead of two (they were sort of oddly stuck together, so I can’t be sure), and didn’t pause to make sure I was cooking the mushrooms and onion in just two teaspoons of bacon drippings, and I may have used just a tiny bit more cheese, and I did not slice my pizza into twelfths, and I damn well ate more than just one piece. Still, there were a fair amount of vegetables involved, enough to make a balanced meal out of a couple slices with maybe a small salad on the side. And it was easy and it was delicious.
Dough for one pizza crust (1 lb)
2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup thinly sliced white onion
½ pound whole white button mushrooms, quartered
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 cups baby arugula
⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. To prepare topping, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
3. Add garlic, onion, and mushrooms to bacon drippings in pan; cook until tender and browned and moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 10–15 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and remove from heat.
4. Roll out dough and place on an oiled pizza pan or baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Place pan on lowest oven rack and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Remove pan from oven; spread ricotta as evenly as possible over crust, leaving a ½-inch rim around the edges. Arrange onion-mushroom mixture and arugula evenly over ricotta. Sprinkle with bacon, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Time: 45 minutes