a quick and easy side to make with your favorite soup.
Now that the cooler months are here I make this easy homemade pizza dough at least twice a month, if not more.
I do not always use the entire dough so I freeze half and defrost it on those nights when I think I need something more to add to the meal.
Flexibility is what is most important to me at dinner time. Our regular dinner menu for two is very basic and the pizza dough gives me flexibility to add pizzazz!
This Portobello Mushroom Burger is one way I used a very small piece of frozen pizza dough to dress up my mushroom burger.
No on to the ricotta crostata, it’s very easy to make. All you really need is ricotta and fresh spinach or swiss chard, an egg, and some cheese for additional flavor, that’s it.
Here’s how it goes — to add flavor rinse & dry the spinach or chard and saute in a splash of olive oil and garlic, cooking for only a minute. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Add ricotta to a bowl, add the cheese, egg, seasoning, cooled spinach and mix.
Roll out a piece of the pizza dough thinner than you would for a pizza crust. Spread the ricotta mixture in the center of the dough leaving enough room to fold over the dough. Brush dough with egg wash, sprinkle cheese over the ricotta and bake.
- 1 pizza dough, halved
- 1 1/2 cup ricotta - skim is o.k. (if you roll out a larger size dough circle you can add more ricotta if desired)
- 1 cup fresh spinach or swiss chard
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano divided
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- egg for egg wash
- coarse salt (optional)
- 1-2 TBLS. fresh chopped parsley and/or basil for garnish
- Wash & dry the spinach or swiss chard.
- In a small frying pan heated on medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic to pan and cook for a minute or two.
- Stir in the spinach or swiss chard and heat through just until wilted. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Roll out the pizza dough about 8-9 inch circle and about ¼ inch thin - similar to a pie crust.
- In a small bowl add the ricotta, mozzarella, some of the grated cheese (save 2 TBLS. to sprinkle on top before baking), salt, pepper, 1 egg and stir well just until everything has blended together ( 5-10 stirs, maybe less).
- Spread the cheese mixture in the center of the dough making sure you have about 1 to 2 inch border of dough.
- Roughly fold up the dough over the ricotta, brush the dough edges with egg wash, sprinkle coarse salt over the edges (optional), and sprinkle the remainder of the grated cheese over the top.
- Place the crostata on lightly oiled parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the dough is baked on the bottom.
This ricotta crostata reminds me of a ‘White Pizza’ which is a pizza with only ricotta and grated mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses – no tomato sauce.
Ricotta and mozzarella are two cheeses I usually have in the fridge — raised in an Italian/American family these ingredients were staples we grew up with and it’s what grampy really loves most.
These items can be expensive but they are often on sale and that’s when I buy them. You can freeze both fresh ricotta and mozzarella if you have the room for it. Since I do not have enough room in my freezer, I only freeze mozzarella.