While both of us enjoy pizza loaded with toppings, every now and then it is good to prepare a more innocent pizza by keeping the toppings to a minimum. While the dough was resting and rising, I flavored a tablespoon of oil with a few cloves of minced garlic. This won't take too long and because you want to keep the garlic, do this over medium heat - when the garlic just begins to take on a golden tinge, remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool.
That garlicky oil, along with the obligatory salt and pepper, is then stirred into a mound of ricotta cheese. This creamy concoction is dolloped over the top of the stretched pizza dough and spread smooth. I used the twelve-ounce version of the dough for a thinner pizza, but if you want a heftier piece, don't be afraid to up it to the sixteen-ounce recipe. That's only one cheese, right? The other two come in the form of shredded lightly sweet Gruyère and sharp fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Baked until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the cheese on top is molten, bubbling and spotted with golden brown dots, I couldn't wait to let it cool down. So, even though I burned my tongue (I hate that!), I would do it again for that first bite. As the heat from the oven firmed up the mild ricotta slightly, it also warmed up the oil and garlic, allowing its subtle flavor to permeate through the stronger cheeses on top. You know, a few years ago, pizza was not really a pizza to either of us unless it had a tomato-based sauce on it (hey, what did I know?), but I've learned my lesson over the past few weeks and am glad to know that pizza can still rock without it.
Three-Cheese Pizza Bianca