Pizza is good. Not always the healthiest option as take-out, but good nonetheless. This being the case, I often make pizza at home because I can easily control what goes in and on it. Since we've been trying to eat more healthful food around here, I rummaged through my old Cooking Light magazines and found a pizza recipe we could enjoy without guilt or hives. (No tomatoes- yay!) It's a thin crispy crust covered with creamy ricotta, flavorful sauteed onions, shiitake mushrooms and tender sugar snap peas, and topped with the savory goodness of bacon, mozzarella and parmesan. Yum.
I know you're wondering... "Peas on pizza? What's she thinking?" Well, the original recipe called for arugula but alas there was none in my refrigerator. (Confession: I'm not really fond of it anyway.) I did have some lovely fresh sugar snap peas that I picked the other day, so I chopped and added them instead. I love sugar snaps so it worked. If you're not a fan of what my grandson calls "green balls" you may wish to substitute something more to your liking. As the recipe is written, each slice of pizza is only about 230 calories. I did add a bit of leftover chicken to mine that's not indicated in the recipe, and also a sprinkling of crushed red pepper for extra flavor. Feel free to personalize, cause that's what pizza is all about!
If you are reluctant to make it because you're intimidated by the yeast dough for the crust, please be assured that it's not difficult and takes only a little time to prep. There is a short rise for the dough, but if you use the time to have a cup of tea and watch a couple of Desperate Housewives reruns, the time passes very quickly. (Not that I'd know anything about that.)
White Pizza with Bacon, Mushrooms and Sugar Snaps (printable recipe here)
adapted from Cooking Light, Dec. 2007
Crust: (Thin and crispy)
1 pkg. active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups flour (about 6 3/4 oz.) divided- I used a whole wheat/all-purpose mix
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
2 slices center cut bacon
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion (I used red)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sliced sugar snap peas
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup part skim ricotta
1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- To prepare dough, dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir 1 1/4 cups of the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 Tablespoon olive oil into the yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands and surface.
- Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning dough to coat surface. Cover dough and let rise in a a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 14 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a pan covered with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Pinch edges of dough to make a rim.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- To prepare topping, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, reserving 1 teaspoon of bacon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, peas and mushrooms to pan; cook until tender and moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
- Drizzle 1 Tblsp. olive oil over dough; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place pan on lowest rack in the oven and bake at 450 degrees for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Spread ricotta evenly over crust. Arrange onion mixture evenly over the ricotta. Sprinkle with bacon, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges.
- Yield: 6 servings, about 230 calories each