Saturday, September 24, 2011
Ricotta on Top
I came across this unfinished post when trying to think what I could do for the blog this weekend, so as not to fall hopelessly and irrevocably behind. I’m sure you will understand that even we over-responsible and over-perfectionist types must occasionally take the path of least resistance. A mostly written blog post, with a finished recipe and photos all done, is such a path—practically a highway.
So, I made what you see here sometime in July. As mentioned before, I do think that Olga’s thin pizza shells are a really good product; when I am in Little Compton, they are a freezer staple, and I can make a pizza in minutes. This is a good, but somewhat dangerous, thing. I eat a lot of these little pizzas, in infinite variation, when I am in Rhode Island.
Narragansett Creamery, which makes really good mozzarella, also makes nice ricotta; in fact, their hand-dipped cheese, made from unhomogenized milk, placed first in the Wisconsin World Championship Cheese Contest. So here is a white pizza using both their cheeses that can be assembled in seconds, not minutes. I prefer Olga’s white shells to the whole wheat, but the whole wheat works well here. You can use any leftover ricotta to make crostini with toasted French bread; sprinkled generously with salt and pepper, it is a light snack to have with a glass of white wine.
Rhode Island White Pizza
This makes two small oval pizzas, enough to serve 4-5 as an appetizer or 2-3 for a light lunch or supper.
2 Olga’s whole wheat pizza shell (or your own)
1 cup Narragansett Creamery or other fresh ricotta cheese
8 oz Narragansett Creamery or other fresh mozzarella
1 large egg
1-2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 oz parmaggiano reggiano, grated
5 or 6 large leaves of fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F, higher if it will go.
In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg, salt, and pepper. Slice the mozzarella into 1/8” slices and grate the parm. Stack and roll the basil leaves tightly, then slice them thinly.
For each pizza: Place the pizza shell on a cornmeal-dusted pan or, if you are using a pizza stone, peel. Spread with the ricotta mixture, leaving a small edge. Distribute the mozzarella and the garlic over the pizza shell and sprinkle with the parm and a little additional freshly grated pepper. Bake 5-8 minutes, depending on your oven heat; turn on the broiler and brown the cheese a little if desired. Remove the pizza to a board and generously garnish with the chiffonade of basil; drizzle with extra virgin if you like. Cut and serve.