Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Neapolitan Spinach Pesto & Ricotta Pizza

neapolitan spinach pesto and ricotta pizza recipe from cherryteacakes.com
Hi! It's been a while! I've been on vacation, and though I truly meant to post and blog on the road...somehow hot stone massages, hot tubs, lavender fields, chocolate factory tours, and eating some of the most amazing foods from Tartine and coco 500 got in the way. Thing is, you can't blame me. You know you'd do just the same. Hmmmm, blog or get a hot stone massage? Um, yeah. That's not even a close call.

Now I'm back, and I brought my dear friend Mr. Jet Lag with me. I have whiplash from the change of pace. I went from leisure to full frontal DC. We're not the sweetest city. All our escalators seem to be broken, the buses are always late, and as I got off the metro to go to work a homeless woman was screaming her curses for all to enjoy. I miss the lavender fields.

After a red eye flight, a bus ride from Baltimore to DC and a grueling metro ride that forced me to carry my heavy bags half a mile to my office, a full days work to make up for missing 10 days, broken escalators and the metro ride home....only then do I remember I have no fresh foods. That's not so bad. I'm a trooper, I'll drive to the store.....nope. After all that I get home, and my car is completely blocked in. No food for Jana.

Ha. Like I'm the giving up type. So, I scan the fridge, strike out, and sadly I open the freezer and low and behold: a ball of homemade frozen pizza dough, frozen ricotta, frozen homemade pesto cubes, and frozen spinach. Oh that's right, my little lesson on how to freeze herbs just rocked my world. Because yes, I have homemade pesto, homemade ricotta, homemade pizza dough all waiting for me. And luckily I had some shredded mozzarella that hadn't expired yet.

By the time I threw together and ate my pretty awesome make shift dinner, cars were moved and I was able to get to the store. Thank heaven because if I need some good fresh foods to kick Mr. Jet Lag out of my life.

So, without further ado, may I present, the best ever meal to come from your freezer:

Neapolitan Spinach Pesto & Ricotta Pizza

1 ball frozen homemade pizza dough from Bread Maker's Apprentice --I don't have permission to print this recipe. But, 101cookbooks does! Hollah! 
1 cup ricotta cheese, thawed (see recipe below)
3 cubes frozen basil pesto (see recipe below)
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained (fresh preferably)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 

Pick up at step 4 of the instructions I don't have permission to print. Ha. Top with thawed basil cubes and dallops of ricotta, and thawed spinach. Dust generously with shredded mozzarella cheese. Continue following the instructions and bake on a pizza stone at the highest temperature you can.

Enjoy! and to make up for not being able to post the dough recipe myself, here are the recipes for the components I can print:

Homemade Ricotta

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Line a large sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain for a few minutes. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered. It will last two days or you can freeze the cheese for up to two months. If freezing, freeze in an ice cube tray. Allow to freeze for a few days, then pop ricotta cubes into a freezer bag removing the excess air. Store in freezer for further use.

Basil Pesto

1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh basil, leaves picked and chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, very lightly toasted
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
a wee bit of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Add garlic and continue pulsing.

Turn mixture out into a bowl. Stir in Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Use fresh or freeze in an ice cube tray. Allow to freeze for a few days, then pop pesto cubes into a freezer bag removing the excess air. Store in freezer for further use.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a great vacation!

    I'm loving everrrything about this pizza! All of those ingredients are my fav!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  2. Yummy! This is a nice, simple take on a summery pizza! Looks like a variation I would like to try!

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  3. This pizza is so different to what I am used to have, but it really looks very tasty!

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  4. Incredible pizza! I love spinach & ricotta! Also, if I was having a hot stone massage, blogging would be the last thing on my mind!

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  5. Amazing. I could have a fridge full of food and still not come up with something as great as this. I guess I just don't look hard enough.

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  6. Yum! I adore white pizzas! Must give this one a try!

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  7. Welcome back from vacation! They're never long enough are they?

    This sounds like a great pizza - good work thinking on the fly =)

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  8. What luck with your frozen finds! This pizza is one of my favorites and yours looks delicious. I am so impressed you whipped all of this up with frozen pieces. Love it!

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  9. Hi, very interesting blog...
    Thanks your info.....
    Thank u so much...

    Freezers

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  10. This looks delicious, thanks so much for sharing!!!

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  11. This pizza looks amazing. I'm looking for some recipes to use up some ricotta (found you via TasteSpotting), but I love how easy it is to make my own the next time! BTW - also nice to see a "neighbor." I'm a Baltimore girl :)

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