Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Roasted Garlic-and-Spinach White Pizza

Roasted Garlic-and-Spinach White Pizza (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

12 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon water
cornmeal, for dusting
12 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (I used our favorite recipe)
2 bacon slices, cut into pieces
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the lowest rack.

On a sheet of foil, add garlic and drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and water. Wrap foil around cloves and bake until soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly - squeeze cloves from their skins and mash with remaining teaspoon of oil to make a paste.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add bacon - cook, stirring often, until crisped, about 5 to 6 minutes. Scoop out bacon and place on a plate - reduce heat to low and add spinach into the skillet. Cook until warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sprinkle enough cornmeal to lightly cover a pizza peel. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out dough to a rough 12 to 13" circle and transfer to the cornmeal-dusted peel.

Spread dough with garlic paste and scatter evenly with the spinach.

Season ricotta with salt, fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste - drop dollops of the ricotta over the top. Sprinkle with bacon and mozzarella. Slide pizza onto the stone and bake for about 12 minutes - reduce temperature to 400 degrees and bake until cheese is brown and bubbling, about 6 to 10 more minutes.

Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 4 servings.

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