If you are like me and love pizza but think you lack the patience and tools necessary to make it at home, have no fear! With a little help from the grocery store, a few fresh ingredients, and a trusty cast iron skillet, a delicious gourmet pizza comes together in minutes. And once you’ve tried this method once, you’ll see how easy homemade pizza can be. Enjoy!
Shrimp & Pesto Pizza
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 1lb store bought pizza dough
- 3 heaping tablespoons pesto sauce
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined (if large, give them a rough chop)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
Special Tool: Cast Iron Skillet
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Once oven is hot, place your cast iron skillet in the oven to warm up (this step is optional but will help create a crispy crust). While skillet is heating, sprinkle shrimp with salt and fresh cracked black pepper and, in a small sautéed pan, cook shrimp in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for just a few minutes on each side (barely cooked through). Remove from heat and set aside.
Then, on a cutting board, roll out your dough into a circle about the same size as your skillet. You can use a rolling pin if you have one; I used my fist and wrist to press it out.
Right when you're ready to assemble your pizza, remove the hot skillet from the oven (using a pot holder of course). Brush the pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and place the dough into the pan, pressing it out to the edges of the pan if necessary.
Then using the back of a spoon, spread the pesto onto the dough leaving about an inch around the edges for the crust. Next, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pesto, but don't get carried away! You want a thin layer of cheese with some of the pesto peeking through. Next arrange the cooked shrimp over the cheese in a single layer and sprinkle red pepper flakes over the entire pizza. Brush the crust with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and place the pizza into the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven and, using a spatula and tongs, gently move the pizza from the skillet to a cutting board. Immediately cut the pizza into 8 slices using a pizza roller or sharp knife and serve!
April Wardlaw is a self-taught cook who caters and bakes part time. You can find more of her recipes on her blog: www.aprilscookin.blogspot.com