It’s pretty hard to believe I eat more than pies and ice cream, right? But I promise I eat at least something other than sweets at least once a week. Okay, maybe once a month. Kidding!
This is one of my favorite pizzas and has been for almost ten years. Guess what? Even Eliana eats it… and it has spinach in it! Amazing, I know.
Another plus? It is pretty easy to make for being homemade pizza. And because I like to pretend I am fancy and all, I like to stuff the crust. So after I roll out the crust, I place cheese around the edge then pull and fold the dough over the cheese. Sometimes a little bit of water helps act as a glue and keeps that seam closed. Is it the prettiest crust you’ve ever seen? Not so much, but cheese in the crust is good stuff so trust me, it’s worth the extra step.
Next up? Creamy ricotta. I spread that around the dough in a semi-thin layer and top it with some fresh spinach, then sauce. On top of that sauce is where the delicious cheese comes in. I used fresh mozzarella for this but shredded works just fine, too. After the cheese comes thinly sliced tomatoes. These little guys are from our garden, aren’t they cute? Que the awes.
Speaking of sauce, it is so easy to make your own. I buy these strained tomatoes, add some dried herbs and spices to it and heat it up just to infuse those flavors. I freeze the extra and get about five 1/2 cup portions out of it. One for the pizza I am making for the night and four for the freezer.
Another little trick? Sprinkling Italian seasoning around the crust and after baking that baby on high heat for twenty minutes, you’ll have better than Digiorno homemade pizza.
Serve it with a salad and you can pat yourself on the back. Now I will say that this pizza is a messy pizza, it is gooey and melty and runny and delicious. Please have a napkin handy.
Spinach Ricotta Pizza
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
adapted from Passionate Homemaking
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 cups whole wheat flour
Combine yeast, 2 tablespoons warm water and 1 teaspoon honey in a bowl, cover and let sit to proof for 7-10 minutes. This is important to activate the yeast. Add remaining water, honey and salt. Stir to dissolve. Next, add 2 cups of flour and beat. If still sticky add more flour, a 1/2 cup at a time. Dough should be easy to handle but not too dry. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Cover bowl with towel and set aside while preparing toppings and sauce, about 20-30 minutes.
26-28 oz strained or crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat just until tomatoes begin to spudder. Remove from heat, let cool and freeze in 1/2 cup portions.
Spinach Ricotta Pizza
1/4-1/2 cup Pizza Sauce, depending on preference
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 large tomato or handful of cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Mozzarella cheese, to taste
Italian seasoning, for seasoning
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Roll out dough on corn meal covered pizza stone or on greased baking sheet.
To make stuffed crust, line mozzarella cheese around pizza dough, about 1/2 inch from the edge. Fold dough over cheese and press down, slice top of crust with a parring knife.
With a spatula, spread ricotta cheese in an even layer on dough. Remove stems from spinach and place on top of ricotta. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce over spinach and ricotta. Top with mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes. Season crust with Italian seasoning.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until dough is browned and cheese is bubbling. Let cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve.