the ‘za of the week (mar 2 – mar 8 )

The ‘Za of the Week from last Wednesday featured: artichoke hearts, ricotta, and portobello mushrooms over a sun dried tomato pesto. I was solely responsible for designing the pizza.

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We also used an Italian cheese blend with romano, mozzarella, provolone, and asiago instead of the standard 100% pure mozzarella.

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I had to make sure to drain the artichoke hearts well as all the layers in the flesh part had adsorbed great amounts of liquid. The blend of the ricotta and artichoke hearts tasted absolutely delectable.

the ‘za of the week (feb 10 – feb 16)

Baking a pizza at home is a very relaxing experience. From stretching the dough to sprinkling the shredded cheese and adding the toppings, a homemade pizza is made with love rather than being just another pie filling a ticket in a corporate establishment.

This past Wednesday, Mare & I baked a homemade pizza topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and ricotta. We had fun with the arrangement of the toppings as you can see in the photograph below.

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The dough treated us well again and stretched all the way across the baking sheet. If you’re using canned pineapple to top a pie, then make sure to drain the pineapple as much as possible. We use a strainer to make sure the pineapple tidbits are well-drained. Sprinkle a decent amount of Parmesan on the marinara to soak up any extra liquid that may want to get through and sog up the crust.

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Topping a pizza is comparable to decorating a cake. Even distribution of the toppings is important, so each slice will have a balanced amount of toppings.

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This pie baked excellent. Hawaiian-style pizzas have their own unique flavor combination.

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In this close-up, you can see the shininess of the cheese caused by the grease being baked out. You can also see the baked spots on the ricotta which I really enjoy. A pineapple tidbit made the picture in the lower right corner as did a piece of Canadian bacon in the upper right corner.

the ‘za of the week (feb 3 – feb 9)

The ‘Za of the Week was topped with: two Italian sausage links, half of a red onion, seven white mushroom caps, and ricotta. Yes, ricotta. This very mild cheese normally used in lasagna makes an excellent pizza topping. I learned this one from a pizzeria I was employed at for years. They used it on their gourmet pesto pizza which was one of their best specialties.

I failed at using enough Parmesan on this one which resulted in a pie that was soggier than usual. It still tasted great. With the onions, mushrooms and ricotta holding a decent amount of liquid as well as the liquid in the marinara, a good amount of Parmesan should have been used to soak it all up.

I really love when parts of the ricotta get that golden color from being baked. I notice that the pizza in the “after” photos look like they’re either floating or superimposed in the picture. That’s due to the cooling rack it’s sitting on when the picture’s taken.

We used skim milk ricotta which is another reason for the excess liquid from the toppings. Overall, it was a very tasty pizza, and we plan on using ricotta again on the weekly pies in the near future.