When I was 20, family friends opened up a small pizza place in my college town. I was the “manager”, and my responsibilities included making the schedule along with possessing a set of spare keys in case an emergency arose (which thank god never happened!). The majority of my time was spent experimenting with various ingredients and concocting my “special creations” – to this day I still cannot fathom why I actually got paid to do this! Some were good enough to make it onto the menu, but most were pretty terrible (I won’t horror you with the details!). It was during this time I discovered the amazingness of Sicilian 3-cheese pizza, a wonderful combination of mozzarella, ricotta and locatelli pecorino romano; paired with enough garlic to forbid any hot dates for the evening!
WHOLE WHEAT 3-CHEESE ZUCCHINI PIZZA
- 1 lb. whole wheat pizza dough – 1/2 this recipe or store bought from you favorite pizza place
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 tbsp. good olive oil
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 cup homemade ricotta – you can use store bought but will need to thin it out with a tbsp. or 2 of milk to achieve the same consistency
- 1/2 cup shredded 2% mozzarella
- 1 cup locatelli pecorino romano
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil, slivered
- Combine olive oil and garlic, let sit.
- Preheat oven to 500°. Place pizza stone in oven and heat for at least 30 minutes – having a searing hot stone is the closest method I’ve found to replicating the effects of a real pizza oven.
- Slice zucchini paper thin, salt and let sit for 30 minutes to draw out the excess water, then blot with paper towels.
- Combine 3 cheeses and garlic oil mixture.
- Roll the ball of dough out with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further, and is nice and thin.
- Remove pizza stone from oven (very carefully), place rolled out dough on top, remove any excess dough from the perimeter – most good homemade pizzas aren’t perfectly round 😉 – and pierce with a fork all over to avoid air bubbles.
- Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2″ border.
- Place the zucchini attractively on top of the cheese mixture in concentric circles, starting at the middle. Spray top with cooking spray to achieve a golden crust.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once 180°, until the bottom and crust are golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Garnish with basil, a sprinkle of sea salt and drizzle of good olive oil.
- Serve immediately.