I’ve been in a real pizza mood lately. I guess after not eating dairy for several weeks, thanks to a suspected food allergy in my little man, I made up for lost time when we realized there was no allergy after all. So expect a few new pizza recipes to be coming your way over the next few weeks (you’re welcome!). The first, Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes.
I first had a pizza like this at one of my favorite pizzerias in Edmonton, Famoso, several years ago. A quick menu check tells me they still have a prosciutto and arugula pizza, but it’s a bit different than this. Mine features fresh tomatoes and mozzarella along with the prosciutto and arugula. Like most recipes that use fresh tomatoes, I generally only make this dish in the summer, when my vines are heavy with delicious garden tomatoes. I couldn’t be bothered to make it in the winter with sub par, mealy grocery store tomatoes.
They key to getting this pizza cooked perfectly is a multi-step cooking process. First you partially cook the crust and the tomatoes. Note that this pizza doesn’t have any sauce. Just olive oil and delicious, sweet tomatoes. I did this particular pizza on the grill, but of course the oven is a perfectly fine option. Like any homemade thin crust pizza, you will want to cook it on a pizza stone to get the crust nice and crisp. After the crust is part cooked and the tomatoes are softened, add the prosciutto and mozzarella. Cook just until the mozzarella is melted. It doesn’t take very long. Try and use a fresh mozzarella or bocconcini for best results. The mild flavor is a perfect balance for the saltiness of the prosciutto.
While the pizza is cooking, you will want to toss the arugula with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. I once tried to put the arugula on the pizza without oil, and it was a dry, bland mess. It needs the oil – even if it’s just a little bit. A tablespoon or so goes a long way to coat all the arugula leaves and make them perfectly tasty.
Once you pizza is cooked and your arugula is dressed, just pile the arugula on top of the pizza. If you want, you can pop it in the oven again for a quick minute to wilt the arugula, making it a bit easier to eat. Otherwise it’s a bit like a salad on a pizza. Still good, but harder to eat. Best served with a simple salad and a glass of wine.
- Thin crust pizza dough (homemade or store bought thawed if frozen)
- 4 tsp olive oil divided
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella thinly sliced or shredded
- 2 cups baby arugula
Move oven rack to lowest position. Place pizza stone on rack and heat oven to 500°F for one hour.
Divide pizza dough in half. Work with one piece at a time while the other piece remains covered. Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with an 18" length of plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll dough (while still covered with plastic) as thin as possible. Remove plastic wrap. Brush dough with 1 tsp olive oil. Arrange half of the tomato slices on the pizza dough. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Bake until tomato slices have softened and crust is partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
Arrange half of the mozzarella on top of the tomato slices. Top with half of the prosciutto slices. Place pizza back in the oven until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, about 5 more minutes.
While pizza is cooking, toss the arugula with 2 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread half of the oiled arugula on top of the cooked pizza. Return pizza to oven until arugula just begins to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Allow pizza to cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Repeat with remaining ingredients.