Friday, March 03, 2006

Pizza with Basil Pesto and Ricotta cheese

Green, green and more green! I love the color green but most of all I really like basil. I like basil so much that I even eat it raw like I would eat a salad. I am not sure it does well to me, but if I am still alive and kicking it surely can't be that bad. Home made pesto is much better than the one you buy, as most home made food. I have added some ricotta cheese to it, to give a bit of extra flavour. You could make the same pesto to eat with some pasta or for a Vegan version, use tofu instead.

Ingredients for the dough: 500gr white flour, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt
Ingredients for the pesto: 1 big bunch of basil, 2 garlic cloves, 50gr pine nuts, 3 Tbsp parmigiano reggiano cheese, 200gr ricotta cheese, 150ml extravirgin olive oil, salt, pepper

Follow the instructions of your favourite yeast brand. I usually diluite 1 Tbsp yeast and 1 tsp sugar into 600ml warm water. Put it aside into a warm place until bubbles are formed.
Put the flour on your working surface. Make a hole in the middle and add olive oil, salt and the water with yeast. Add more warm water accordingly. Work the dough until you get an elastic one, not too dry. Let it leaven for 1 hour or until it has doubled the size.
Prepare the pesto by putting all the ingredients into a mixer or a blender. Mix them all until a smooth paste is formed, adding more or less oil accordingly to the amount of basil used. Add salt and pepper.
When the dough has leaven, put it back on your working surface and roll it into a thin sheet. With this amount of flour, you will get 1 rectangular pizza and 1 round pizza. Pour the pesto over the pizza and add a couple of Tbsp of warm water to the pesto if it's too difficult to spread. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and cook in a pre-heated ove at 220 C (425 F - Gas 7) for about 20 minutes or until gold.


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