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Friday, June 11, 2010

Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Pancetta

After we got garlic scapes for the second week in a row in our CSA Box, we figured we would make the pesto again.  It's great because we can freeze half of it, and use half of it now.  We went with a different application this week, pizza instead of pasta.  It was delicious!  We used the pesto as the sauce and then added toppings we thought would work well -- pancetta, fresh tomatoes and cheese.  When it came out of the oven we added fresh basil leaves, which you can see in the second picture.  They got a bit discolored by the heat, but they tasted just fine!  You can use any kind of pizza dough, either homemade, store-bought dough or a store-bought partially baked crust.  

Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Pancetta
Serves 4

pizza dough (I used the recipe below)
1/2 cup pesto 
2 ounces pancetta, cubed
2 tomatoes (I used 1 roma and 1 orange), seeded and sliced into strips
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella


  • Prepare pizza dough or crust on stone with cornmeal, or as directed.  Preheat oven as appropriate for the dough you choose.  
  • Cook pancetta in skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towels.
  • Spread pesto on prepared pizza dough.
  • Sprinkle pancetta on pesto.
  • Arrange tomato slices on pizza.
  • Top with mozzarella.
  • Bake according to directions for pizza dough.  

Pizza Dough 
from The Best of Cooking Light
Makes 2 12 inch pizza crusts

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (1 package)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3 1/2 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
cooking spray

  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 1/4 cups flour, oil and salt to yeast mixture, stirring until well blended.  
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, about ten minutes.  I use my stand mixture, but you could do it by hand on a floured work surface.  Add remaining flour as needed to prevent dough from being too sticky.
  • Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.  
  • Punch dough down, cover and let rest 5 minutes.  
  • Divide dough in half , shape each half into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface.  
  • Top and bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

NOTE: This dough may be frozen.  After the kneading step, you can separate the dough into two balls.  Coat with cooking spray  and place into a zippered plastic bag to freeze.  Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.  Shape and bake as instructed.   

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