Eat your heart out all you pizza joints that think you are special! It’s so easy to make your own pizza. I am not going to say that I’m above a good ol’ frozen pepperoni pizza either, but once in awhile it’s fun to make it yourself. It’s also a lot healthier. You can find pizza crust pre-made pretty easily these days, and I decided to use Archer Farms thin crust round style that you can get at Target. I really liked how thin and crispy it turned out, and also how it had enough flavor but wasn’t starchy like some crusts. I tried the whole wheat square shaped pizza crust, again from Archer Farms, and didn’t think it held up as well as the white in terms of crispiness and texture. Most of the other ingredients I used for this I found at Trader Joe’s.
I also made my own pesto, which I have kept since summer in the freezer. I froze it in batches, without the parmesan so it wouldn’t get bitter. This is so great in the middle of winter to have on hand! The recipe for pesto is at the bottom of this posting. You can also find pre-made pesto just about anywhere. Buy the good stuff in the refrigerated section if you can.
Pesto Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Pancetta
Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
Artichoke Hearts (whole, canned)
Pancetta (cubed into 1/4″ pieces)
Start by frying the cubed pancetta in a pan.
While that is cooking, spread a nice layer of pesto on your pizza crust. Top the pizza with sun dried tomatoes (I liked to let some of the oil from these drip all over the pizza). When the pancetta is done, pat dry with paper towels.
Crumble the artichoke hearts and spread evenly all over the pizza and then add the cooked pancetta. If you really like garlic, finely chop a few cloves and sprinkle on top. I figured there was enough garlic in the pesto to omit this step, and then afterwards I thought it could have used more, but that is up to you.
Top with the grated cheeses and bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet or pizza stone.
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Mix everything in a blender, adding the olive oil gradually while blending. OMIT the cheese if you are going to freeze this. You can freeze in small to medium sized tupperware containers, or even in ice cube trays depending on how you plan to use it. I made 4 times this recipe so you can make as much or little as you like, based on how much basil you have. Enjoy all winter long!