Thursday, February 6, 2014

Antipasto Pizza


Friday nights in our house mean one of two things:

  1. The kids eat random leftovers or quesadillas and we get take-out once they go to bed, or
  2. Family pizza night!
  Making dinner with my two big kids is a great way for us to all unwind from the week, eat some cheese off the cutting board, and turn what is typically the most stressful and harried part of the day into a fun and relaxing activity for the kids to enjoy.  I feel like every time I post a new pizza recipe, I end up talking this, but I just can't help myself - it's probably the reason we eat pizza as much as we do, after all.  

This particular pizza night was especially memorable, because I got to introduce Caroline and Smith to some new ingredients and food.  They had never had salami before, and it's pretty much Caroline's favorite food now.  She was also introduced to roasted red peppers, and they were a hit too - I think I blew her mind when I wrapped a pice of salami around a roasted red pepper strip and gave it to her, ha!  Kalamata olives, however, were not a hit with Smith.  You win some, you lose some.

What's nice about this pizza is that since "antipasto" is such a broad term, it's pretty much an anything-goes situation.  I basically just took the things I like to see on an antipasto tray and threw them on a pizza.  I included salami, roasted red peppers, and olives, and used a combo of provolone and mozzarella cheeses.  I also threw on some green bell peppers and plenty of fresh basil for some brightness and freshness to balance the rich, salty flavors of the other toppings.  Definitely play around with the toppings though - prosciutto or soprasetta would be really great, fresh slices of tomato would be lovely in the summer, some hot cherry peppers... go nuts.

It's Friday.  Relax, unwind, and eat a pizza!

Antipasto Pizza
  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and cut into thin strips
  • 2 oz salami, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.  

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Stirring often, cook until the garlic is beginning to turn golden-brown, about 5-6 minutes, then remove from heat.  Set aside.

Sprinkle a large sheet of parchment paper with cornmeal, then pull and stretch the dough into a 12-14 inch circle.  Brush the outer perimeter with olive oil, then brush the center with the garlic-infused oil.  

Sprinkle the dough with 2/3 cup of the provolone cheese and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese, then scatter the salami, green and red bell peppers, and olives over the cheeses.  Top with remaining cheese, then carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated oven.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with the fresh basil, slice, and serve.


Josie said...

We used to have family pizza night too - SO fun! And this pizza looks fabulous.

Josie said...

I LOVE family pizza night! My dad used to make pizza every Friday and it was the best...definitely a tradition I want to start with my future kids! All those antipasto toppings are perfect for pizza!

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