Spinach Artichoke Pizza Bianca
Pizza Bianca or white pizza, originally from Napoli, basically a Neopolitan style pizza without tomato sauce. A dollop of creamy ricotta is spread over the crust before the spinach and marinated artichoke toppings. If you insist on using some kind of sauce you could definitely go for a basil walnut pesto, alfredo sauce or pesto rosso.
Instead of cranking up the grill, I actually heated up my cast iron skillet/griddle, stretch the pizza dough as thin as I could and grilled it on both sides until those beautiful grill marks form. This way it gets really nice and crisp, just like if you cooked it on a pizza stone but without turning on the oven in the middle of summer’s heat.
About the Ingredients
- Pizza dough – the magic of this pizza is half in that crust and it start with mastering how to make the best pizza dough ever. It can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for 3 days or just freeze it for a later date in the future.
- Garlic – rubbing the grilled crust with garlic and lightly brushing with olive oil just like you would a piece of bruschetta, is what makes this pizza exquisite and unlike any other. That wonderful flavor can’t be replicated any other way.
- Ricotta – a layer of super creamy ricotta is the perfect canvas for the spinach and artichoke hearts to sink into. You could make it totally dairy-free by whipping up this divine cashew ricotta in the blender or using a store bough.
- Artichoke hearts – plain is fine but it’s so totally worth marinating them for this recipe. Please do it, it’s really easy and they taste amazing.
- Baby spinach – it doesn’t need much, a quick toss in the same hot skillet you cooked the pizza in, just until wilted. Once piled up on top of the ricotta it will taste superb.
How to Make Spinach Artichoke Pizza
Spinach Artichoke Pizza Bianca Recipe (Grilled)
For the Grilled Pizza Dough
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cups COLD water
- 1 lug extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 12 marinated artichoke hearts
- 1.5 cups baby spinach
- 1 pinch coarse sea salt flakes
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Make the Pizza Crust:
- Add the flour, yeast and salt to the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer and combine. Switch to the dough hook attachment and start pouring in the water until all is combined. Knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and barely sticky to the bottom of the bowl.
- If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl add a little more flour.
- Dump the dough onto a cutting board and cut it into 8 pieces. Shape each one into a round ball and at this point you can individually wrap them in plastic wrapped lightly coated in some olive oil. Make sure they are loosely wrapped.
- If you plan to make all 8 pizzas at once then you can place them all on a lightly oiled cookie sheet about 4 inches apart, lightly drizzle with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature in a draft free area for 2 to 3 hours.
- If you aren’t going to make them all at once then wrap them loosely individually and nighter freeze or refrigerate. If refrigerated then use within 3 days for best results. Just place them on the kitchen counter for 2 hours before cooking to give them time to rise.
Make the Pizza:
- Preheat your cast iron grill skillet or griddle on high flame until very hot. Do not add any oil nor butter at all. Just a dry hot skillet.
- Sprinkle a little flour on your kitchen counter or pastry board and place one of the pizza dough balls on top. Sprinkle with a little flour and use the palm of your hands to press it in and stretch gently until very thing but the perfect size to fit your skillet.
- Add the stretched dough to the hot griddle skillet and grill for about 3 minutes each side until nice grill marks form and the crust is crispy.
- Use a pair of kitchen tongues to transfer it to a cutting board.
- Take one of the garlic cloves and slice the end. With the cut side make sure to rub one side of the grilled pizza crust just like you would bruschetta. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt.
- Spoon some of the ricotta cheese on top in a thin layer and top with the marinated artichoke hearts.
- Add the baby spinach to the same skillet you cooked the pizza in and toss it around for about 20 seconds or so until it starts to wilt. Transfer on top of the Pizza Bianca and serve with the red pepper flakes on top.
- Repeat with the remaining pizzas or refrigerate for later use.
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