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Recipe of the Week: Little White Pizza with Pesto and Seafood


PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

This is my mother’s special, pizza dough recipe. It is easy to prepare and can be placed in the freezer for up to three months. Use fresh yeast only if you can buy it directly from a bakery; most of the supermarket yeast is already past its prime. The starter can be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for two days. Serves 12. (Chef tip: Make sure that you proof the yeast in warm water of 95-110 degrees.)

1 cup warm water (95-110 degrees)

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon dry milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups marinated seafood

2 cups marinated artichokes hearts chopped

1 cup fresh pesto

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese sliced

1 teaspoon corn meal

Place warm water in a bowl; stir in yeast and sugar. Cover with a wet cloth and let it proof for 10 minutes in a warm spot.

Make a starter by mixing one cup of flour with the proofed yeast. Add dry milk and olive oil. Mix with the help of a fork. The dough will be sticky and wet. Place in a bowl covered with the wet cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes or more in a warm spot away from drafts.

Add remaining two cups of flour and salt. Mix ingredients well. Work the dough with the heel of your hands until smooth and elastic; add flour or water if needed. Make the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover with a wet cloth. Let the dough rise until double in bulk for 20 minutes.

Punch down and divide into 12 pieces. Shape into round balls. Roll out to four-inch circles. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with corn meal. Allow dough to rise. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush pizzas with pesto. Top the pizza with artichokes, seafood and mozzarella cheese prior to baking. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.