Florentine Pizza: Creamy ricotta, spinach, Italian herbs, and a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses captures the classic Florentine flavor in pizza form.
I think I am part Italian. My pale skin, freckles, and blue eyes do not appear in any way shape or form Italian, but my taste buds–they think they are Italian. They are comforted by Italian food. They crave Italian on a daily basis.
I could live on pastas and good breads with pure olive oil. I would be content to nibble on antipasto trays and sip on rich wines and finish my meal with a decadent tiramisu. BUT, my husband, well, he is just okay with Italian foods. To him, pizza is his most favorite Italian food. You know, totally Americanized pizza. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE pizza, also perfect for a wedding morning. we have pizza night weekly at our house. But, I really love ravioli and simple tomato sauces with fresh pastas.
But what if I combined a classic Italian style dish with pizza? That may please EVERYONE in my house.
You often hear of Florentine dishes in context with Italian foods. There is Chicken Florentine, Eggs Florentine, Shells Florentine, etc. What does Florentine mean? It refers to a recipe that is prepared in the style of the Italian region of Florence. But another definition of Florentine means to be prepared with spinach. And that is what I think of when I think of Florentine style dishes.
So a Florentine Pizza, simply would mean a pizza with spinach. But the pizza I created is so much more than just pizza with a bit of spinach tossed in the mix. It is a tender crust, topped with garlic infused olive oil, a mix of creamy ricotta, spinach, and herbs. And then finished with sharp Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. It is a bite of Florentine meets America. It is just good.
It pleased this wanna be Italian girl and my typical American boy. Pretty sure you will enjoy this as well!
- Pizza Dough:
- ¾ cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1¾ cups whole white wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Pizza:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup frozen spinach that has been thawed and excess moisture squeezed off
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- Make the dough:
- Combine the water and yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached.)
- Mix in the honey and oil. Add the flour and salt slowly and mix in as you go. With dough hook or large spatula mix together dough until well combined.
- Once mixed, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with your dough hook on low-medium speed.
- Place dough in oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm spot for 20-30 minutes.
- Once dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Roll dough out onto 12 inch pizza pan that has been lightly greased.
- Mix together the olive oil and minced garlic and brush on pizza dough.
- Mix ricotta, spinach and spices together. Spread out evenly on crust. Top with cheeses.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until cheese is melted and browned.
So slice up this fusion of American and Italian cuisine and please everyone.
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