Pesto Pizza – tasty twist on the traditional
A meal I enjoyed at my favorite restaurant, Hudson’s, in Montrose, Ohio, inspired this pizza dish. Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta is a new offering on Hudson’s summer menu, a delicious concoction featuring garlic scape pesto with crumbled Italian sausage and diced fresh tomato over penne pasta.
Craving homemade pizza yesterday afternoon, I theorized about combinations I could pull together from what I had on hand. Noting the very ripe tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill and the bulk sausage and mozzarella in the refrigerator, I realized I could create a pie that mirrored the flavors of the dish I recently sampled, if only I had some pesto.
A quick trip to the store for some jarred sauce and I was ready to bake.
- Pizza dough for a 16-inch pie
- Pesto (I used Classico Traditional Basil Pesto – the 8.1-oz. jar was exactly the right amount of sauce)
- 3 medium, ripe tomatoes
- About 1/2 pound bulk sausage, browned
- 1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Roll dough into a 16-inch round and transfer to pizza pan coated with olive oil. (The easiest way to move the dough is fold it in half, move to one half of the pan and then unfold.) Pinch the edges to create a rim.
Bake without toppings for 10 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven. Remove from oven, then spread with pesto; add tomatoes, sausage, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
Let cool slightly on pan, then slice.
This simple pizza dough recipe is the standard I typically use for homemade pizza. It’s easy to pull together and always turns out well.
Basic Pizza Dough
Adapted from Pizza by James McNair
(Makes one 16-inch pizza)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup warm (110 to 115 degrees F.) water
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add sugar to warm water and dissolve. Add yeast and stir gently; set aside for 5 minutes. (Water temperature is important; too cold won’t activate the yeast and too hot will kill it.)
While waiting for the yeast, add flour and salt to food processor fitted with a steel blade or dough hook. Process 5-10 seconds to combine.
Turn processor back on and pour yeast water, then olive oil, into the dry ingredients. Continue processing until dough masses into a ball in the processor.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead by hand about 2 minutes, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.