Saturday, July 31, 2010

Roasted Garlic & Pesto Pizza

If you've ever worked at a pizza joint for longer than a day you might soon find yourself dreading when people suggest pizza for dinner. I hated pizza after I started working with it for hours each day. It gets boring, right? The same sauce, the same ooey gooey cheese, and the same traditional toppings.

I started making homemade pizza, again, while living with my brother. Now, pesto and roasted garlic never made their way onto those pizzas, but I would occasionally throw on some artichoke hearts, per my brothers request. Besides that, the most creative toppings to make it's way onto that buttery crust was deer meat, and let me tell you, it's an amazing topping for a pizza.

I had to call my brother last night and ask if the pesto was supposed to be the sauce for my pizza or just a topping. He started laughing off the bat and asked if I had ever even eaten pesto pizza. I had not. Not until I made it myself. Now, here is another meal I made where my husband was full, but not beaming with a belly full of freshly grilled steak. I thought it was great. It was something different then we normally eat, and that's the goal. Who wants to eat the same five meals Monday-Friday? My husband may, but I don't.

I know, I know, I should have tried to make my own pesto, but while grocery shopping yesterday I looked up, and there and behold... PESTO! I've been dying to have Ricotta cheese lately, but the only thing I grew up eating with that involved was lasagna. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how to make lasagna just for two. That's been one of the challenges of my kitchen. Learning to cook for two instead of, well, soup kitchen-like quantities. Slowly but surely, slowly but surely. Now, without further ado, the Roasted Garlic & Pesto pizza!

2 boxes Jiffy pizza crust
1 c. water
4 c. shredded mozzarella
1 jar original pesto
1 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 gloves garlic, peeled
butter, for greasing pan and handling dough

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare dough as directed on package. For 2 boxes of Jiffy, you combine mix with 1 c. hot water, mix, cover and set aside to rise.

While rising, I shred my mozzarella. You can buy pre-shredded but it's more expensive. Shredding your own cheese is a great way to cut back on costs!

Take two cloves of peeled garlic and wrap in foil. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove, smash with flat side of knife, stir in with pesto.

Take rectangle baking sheet and grease with butter. Coat hands as well, remove dough from bowl, and spread evenly on pan pushing excess around edge of pan to create a crust. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and add pesto sauce. Spoon ricotta onto the sauce, followed by the Parmesan cheese, and finally the mozzarella. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Whaa-la!

I think there's something taken away from pizza when it isn't cut into triangle shaped slices. I mean after all, wasn't the Lion King written about the circle of life? No where in that sentence did I see the word square or rectangle. I wish I had a fancy perfectly circular pizza stone, but for now, my rectangle of life pizza remains.

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