Tag Archives: arugula

Pizza: Day Two—White Pizza

Here’s the dough this morning, all bubbly and risen. It’ll still be a few hours before I put it in the pan to rise again.

White Parmesan sauce with roasted garlic, arugula, sage sausage, and red peppers. A little mozzarella, too. That’s how I’m dressing the no-knead pizza dough that I made yesterday. I’m only making one pizza today, and putting the second ball of dough in the fridge to be used again in a few days.

I’m using a heavy springform pan, which will make a thick and crispy crust, not unlike the cast iron pan used in the original recipe. I’m  still following the directions from Serious Eats for finishing the dough, but with my own topping ideas.

White Pizza and Foolproof Pan Pizza Dough

  • Servings: 2 10-inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy, but requires time management
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Plan for the dough to rise in pans for two hours.

Preheat oven to 500°-550° an hour before putting pizza toppings on dough. My oven doesn’t go to 550° but the lower temp worked fine.

Finishing the dough per the original recipe with my comments in brackets:

  1. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, then transfer it to a well-floured work surface. Divide dough into two pieces and form each into a ball by holding it with well-floured hands and tucking the dough underneath itself, rotating it until it forms a tight ball. [I put one of the balls in the refrigerator to make another day.]
  2. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of two 10-inch cast iron skillet or round cake pans [or springform pans with foil wrapped around bottom to avoid dripping oil into oven]. Place 1 ball of dough in each pan and turn to coat evenly with oil. Using a flat palm, press the dough around the pan, flattening it slightly and spreading oil around the entire bottom and edges of the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for two hours. After the first hour, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 550°F.
  3. After two hours, dough should be mostly filling in the pan up to the edges. [Mine did not fill the pan, but was bubbly and soft enough to spread very, very easily.] Use your fingertips to press it around until it fills in every corner, popping any large bubbles that appear. Lift up one edge of the dough to let any air bubbles underneath escape and repeat, moving around the dough until there are no air bubbles left underneath and the dough is evenly spread around the pan.
  4. [See my own toppings and finishing below.] Top each round of dough with 3/4 cup sauce, spreading the sauce with the back of a spoon into every corner. Spread evenly with mozzarella cheese, letting the cheese go all the way to the edges. Season with salt. Add other toppings as desired. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter a few basil leaves over the top (if desired)
  5. Transfer pan to oven and bake until top is golden brown and bubbly and bottom is golden brown and crisp when you lift it with a thin spatula, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pizzas and transfer to to a cutting board. Cut each one into six slices and serve immediately.

White Pizza

  • 2 cups Parmesan White Sauce with Roasted Garlic (below)
  • 1 lb bulk sausage, browned (I used a sage country sausage)
  • 2 roasted bell peppers, cut in chunks
  • 1 lb mozzarella, grated (do not use fresh mozzarella)
  • 1/2-1 cup baby arugula or regular arugula, chopped
  1. Top each pizza with 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella.
  2. Spread about 1 cup of white sauce (below) over dough and cheese.
  3. Top with browned sausage, roasted bell peppers, baby arugula, and a little more mozzarella.
  4. Follow the baking instructions in step 5 above, making sure to preheat the oven early.
Parmesan White Sauce with Roasted Garlic

Makes 2 cups sauce.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Garlic from 1 head of roasted garlic, mashed
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4-1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and work in mashed garlic until combined. Stir in flour, cooking until there are no lumps. Slowly pour in milk, stirring to combine. Continue stirring until mixture comes to boil. Stir in cheese to combine. Set aside to cool, covered. Use as above.

Wow! The dough here is excellent for a pan pizza. It was incredibly light, yet crispy on the edges and bottom. You didn’t feel like you were eating a loaf of bread with this crust. We usually prefer a thin crust, but were enthusiastic about this one. Give it a try some day when you can plan ahead. You can make the dough one afternoon and put it together the next. I went to the extra trouble of roasting the garlic and peppers, but you can find ways around that.

FYI It took a little muscle to open the springform pan

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash

Winter squash are a hearty favorite in the fall and winter. We love acorn and spaghetti squash simply with butter, salt, and pepper, and butternut squash lends itself to a variety of dishes. Butternut squash risotto is at the top of that list, but today, I’m combining roasted cubes with pasta, arugula, garlic and a light cream sauce. Oh, and bacon! I love any food that you can eat in a bowl.

There are a number of different versions of winter squash with pasta or rice. Here are a few to give you more inspiration:

Pasta with Roast Pumpkin, Rosemary, Smoky Bacon and Spinach

Wegmans Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta with Escarole & Butternut Squash

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Martha Stewart’s Butternut Squash Risotto is my go-to risotto in the winter

This is a rather easy dish, but the hardest task is the first one—cutting the skin off the hard squash. Because of all it’s curves, it can be dangerous wielding a big knife and trying not to lose too much precious squash in the peeling. I have had no luck with paring knives or vegetable peelers with butternuts, but I have a process that works well for me, shown in these pictures with pop-up captions:

Rigatoni with Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 lb rigatoni or penne pasta, boiled for about 10 minutes to al dente stage
  • 3/4-1 lb thick-sliced bacon, browned, drained, and crumbled (save 3 tablespoons of the fat for the sauce)
  • 1.5 cup chicken broth
  • 1.5 cup half and half or cream
  • 3 tablespoons flour to thicken the sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 2-3 cups arugula, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the squash:

Preheat oven to 350°

Toss 3/4 of the diced squash in olive oil and roast until tender and browned, about 30-40 minutes. I had a total of about 5 cups of squash.

Make the sauce:

  1. While the squash is roasting, begin the sauce by simmering the remaining diced squash in the chicken broth until tender enough to mash into a puree. Add more broth if it has cooked down. This mixture is half your sauce and the mashed squash helps to thicken the whole thing.
  2. In another pan, cook the bacon, drain it on paper towels and crumble into 1 inch pieces. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat and sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes; add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the flour until well blended, then stir in the half and half and the broth/squash purée. Add the arugula all at once and continue to stir until the sauce is slightly thickened. The arugula will wilt quickly. This should be a thin sauce, rather than a heavy white sauce. Add more broth or half and half to reach desired consistency.*
  3. Toss cooked pasta in a large bowl with roasted squash, bacon, sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

*You could skip the flour thickener in step 2 and rely only on the pureed squash as a thickener. The benefit of a little flour is that it binds the ingredients together and prevents separation.