Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pesto PLT Skillet Pizza

 2nd Place Prize Winner for Mezzetta, "Picture Perfect Pizza"  Photo Contest, 2012 

 EXPLORED Photo, chosen by Flickr

Simply one of the best white pizzas ever, that is inspired by a delicious bruschetta that my Italian mother makes. This recipe produces a complex sauce by combining the sun-ripened dried tomato pesto, crushed garlic with gorgonzola cream. The playful mingling of cherry tomatoes with basil pesto gives this pizza it's distinct fresh taste, while the prosciutto and kalamata olives round out the symphony of complimentary flavors.

 Baking the pizza in an olive oil seasoned cast iron skillet develops an irresistibly crispy bottom crust with a chewy center you will love sinking your teeth into! Garnish with arugula for that peppery bite. This pizza is so rustic and divine, it will transport you to an old world-style Italian bistro with every delicious bite!

  • 1- 4 ounce package of Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast    
  • 1 3/4- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of semolina flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2/3 cups of very warm water (120-125 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 salt
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of red cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tablesspoons of Mezzetta Sun Ripened Tomato Pesto
  • 2 tablespoons of Mezzetta Basil Pesto
  • 1/2 cup of Mezzetta Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 3 ounces of Prosciutto, thinly sliced and torn
  • 1/2 cup of shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 cups of baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  **Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place oven rack on the very bottom of the oven. **

FOR THE CRUST: Combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour, semolina flour, undissolved yeast,  sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Combine very warm water (120-125 degrees), and oil; add to flour mixture. Mix until well blended (about a minute). Gradually, add the remaining flour and form a ball (it will be a bit sticky). Transfer dough ball to a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 4 minutes.) Cut dough ball in half with a pastry cutter. With a rolling pin, roll out one of the dough halves into a circle the size of your cast iron skillet. Use a skillet that is very shallow and brush with a little bit of olive oil. (I used one that is meant for making crepes). Transfer the dough to the skillet and allow to rise again for about 5 minutes.

FOR THE TOPPINGS: Combine the Gorgonzola cheese and heavy cream and use that as your base. Drizzle the Sun Ripened Tomato pesto on the base. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss with basil pesto and scatter over top of dough along with the Kalamata olives. Scatter the shredded provolone cheese over top and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and remove from skillet. It should slide out pretty easily. Garnish with arugula.

COOK'S NOTE:  You may use a store bought pizza dough to save yourself  some time. However, if you would like to add real depth to your crust by adding herbs, such as rosemary, basil, oregano, etc., I would suggest making your own pizza crust.  Also, I like to add crushed red pepper flakes to my dough for a hint of heat, so I prefer to make mine from scratch.

My 2nd Place Prize: Aprilia Scarebo Italian Scooter!!


  1. Hi Cathi! Just saw you drop this by ChinDeep on FB, and I'm drooling. As with everything you make, this is FABULOUS!!! I hope you've made good use of the scooter! Congrats!!!

  2. I've been wondering about exactly how you put the Prosciutto in the mix, I'm just winging it.

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