Spinach and Pancetta Thin Crust Pizza- Foodie Friday!

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After seeing the response ya’ll had to my Homemade Pizza Dough recipe I thought that I would show you another great idea for topping it off! There are so many great ways to customize a pizza to your tastes and likes, and for my family, this is one of our favorites! I mean really who DOESN’T love pancetta incorporated into their dinner?? And to top it all off, we added in some spinach and yummy mozzarella cheese too…I know, I know, you are drooling and ready to get going right?

Before I get into the recipe though, there are few things that you need to know when making a pizza at home. First of all, be creative, every single time! Make it your own and have fun! It is really a great meal to get the kiddos involved in too, they will love rolling out the dough and topping it with their own veggies, meat and cheeses. Set out bowls with predetermined toppings and have them lined up on the table so they can dig in and create. Let them have fun and encourage them to build a healthy meal at the same time!

You are also going to need some key tools and ingredients in your kitchen at all times if you plan on making pizza!

My 3 essentials are:

  1. A good Pizza Stone, you must have this for making pizzas…it really does make the difference between a good pizza and a GREAT pizza! The key to your stone is to always leave it in your oven as this will help to season it(we keep ours foiled when not in use so it doesn’t get stained from other dishes we cook during the week). When you are ready to make your pizza you just uncover it and turn the oven on to preheat with it inside, this way it is hot and ready to cook as soon as your dough hits it!
  2. Pizza Peel, yep this is another mandatory for making your pizza. And I know you are thinking, “But aren’t those things like 4 feet long?! Where will I fit it?!” well let me tell you that no they are not all that big! We have the perfect size wooden pizza peel that fits into the same cupboard as our cutting boards!
  3. Corn Meal . I cannot stress to you enough how MANDATORY this ingredient is for making your pizza! If you love the crunchy texture that your delivery pizzas have, this is your secret ingredient…and trust me it makes a major difference! When stretching out your dough you combine corn meal with a little bit of flour and work right on top. You also sprinkle a light amount on your pizza stone right before plopping your pizza on! I promise you, this is the one step you do not want to skip!

Okay, one more thing before the recipe! For this pizza I used a pesto base, I found it really went with the flavour combination I was working with. Now, if your family prefers red sauce, by all means use that instead! For my pesto I used Epicures Lemon Basil Aioli seasoning mix (sells for about $7 and lasts forever!) we actually use it on fish, chicken and veggies when getting them ready for the grill too! All I did was take 2 tbsp of the mix and whisk it with 1/4c olive oil and 1tsp lemon juice, I then used a silicone brush to spread it on the base of my dough before adding my toppings.

Spinach and Pancetta Thin Crust Pesto Pizza

Spinach and Pancetta Thin Crust Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

  • Homemade Pizza Dough (see recipe on oliveblogger.com
  • 1c Baby Spinach
  • 5-6 Slices of Pancetta (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 1/2c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pesto (see how I made mine on the site!)

Instructions

  1. Prepare pizza dough as instructed (or use store bought if preferred)
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Stretch out dough on surface with cornmeal and flour
  4. Place dough on pizza peel and assemble with your toppings
  5. Start with your pesto, gently spreading from the center of your dough out
  6. Evenly lay out your spinach and crumbled pancetta
  7. Top with mozzarella and slide onto cornmeal dusted pizza stone
  8. Cook for about 10 minutes until crust is golden and spinach is wilted
  9. Serve with a side salad and enjoy
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Pizza-before

Here is that yummy pizza ready to go in the oven, assembled on the pizza peel.

Spinach-Pancetta-Pizza

Doesn’t this look incredible!? You can see the crunchy thin crust, combined with the melting cheese and wilted spinach…get eating!

And that friends is your newest recipe to add to your pizza collection! Be sure to check out my Kale Pizza for more inspiration!

Foodie Friday- Pizza Time

This week I thought I would share our recipe for the ultimate pizza dough (sorry it is a little late, it IS a looooong weekend after all)! We are constantly making pizzas as a quick weeknight meal…not only in the oven but also on the BBQ, it is a GREAT meal idea for any night of the week! The greatest thing about this recipe is that it makes enough for 3 pizzas, meaning you can freeze the dough and have it on hand for whenever you need it!! And with the versatility of pizza toppings, you are sure to make everyone at your dinner table HAPPY! (check  my Kale Pizza here).

A quick note on the dough, we separate ours into 3 balls as we prefer thin crust pizza, if you like yours a little thicker I would suggest separating into 2 sections instead!

Classic Pizza Dough

Classic Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 c warm water (not boiling as it will ruin the yeast)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil (to coat your bowls for when dough is rising)

Instructions

  1. Put the water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir until dissolved.
  2. In stand mixer, mix the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and stir (with dough hook) until a soft dough forms.
  3. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Knead the dough (on medium-low speed) until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  6. Using a fist, deflate the dough in the center and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Form the dough pieces into 3 balls and put into 3 oiled bowls. Cover each bowl loosely with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic. This is where we freeze it, slightly flatten the dough so it is a small circle and place in a freezer sealed bag. When ready to make pizza simply remove the dough in the morning and leave in the bag on the counter at room temp!
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*Recipe originally adapted from foodnetwork.com*