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Monday, January 17, 2011

Spinoccoli Pizza

I've mentioned often on the blog how much I love home-made pizza nights.  We recently tried yet another pizza establishment in the Twin Cities.  I won't mention it's name but it had been receiving rave reviews from every single person in Minneapolis that has dined there since it's opening.  The owner actually went to culinary school in a state on the east coast that is known for it's pizza, so we went in with high expectations.  Sigh.
We've decided to stop trying pizza places in Minnesota.  We have gone EVERYWHERE in Minneapolis.  (Cossetta's, Pizza Luce, Punch, Red Savoys, Pizzeria Lola, Black Sheep, Green Mill, Carbone's, random shops on the side of the road, the list goes on, and on, and on.)   Sorry, folks.  We have tried.  There is nothing like east coast pizza and the pizza we were used to before coming to Minnesota.  I'm not saying the pies we've tried here have been bad.  Some have actually been quite good -- if that's what you are looking for.  It's hard to describe.  I'm used to a specific pie and I can't find it here so we're just going to stick with home-made pizza from here on out to avoid any further disappointment.

This was an unusual take on a pie that I had never experienced until now.  But, I decided to give it a go based off of pure intrigue.  Pizza nights normally involve two pies so I knew I would have a back-up if I didn't like it, but I loved it!  I was actually quite impressed with how the white sauced turned out.  It would be delicious on noodles as an alfredo and I might have to remember this next time we need a quick dinner.  It was incredibly easy to whip up and was a delicious alternative to your standard red sauce pizza.  If you ever see it on a menu, I recommend trying it out!
Spinoccoli Pizza
from Annie's Eats
White Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza dough
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves, torn
  • 1 cup very small broccoli florets
  • 2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. To make the white sauce: melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and light golden, about one minute.  Whisk in the heavy cream and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese until completely melted and smooth.  Discard the garlic clove.  (Note: This will make more sauce  than you need for the pizza.  Use leftovers to dip pizza in!)
  2. To make the pizza:  preheat the oven and a pizza stone at 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round.  Lightly brush the ends with olive oil.  Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the crust, leaving a border clear around the edge of the crust.  Sprinkle the torn spinach leaves over the white sauce.  Evenly distribute the broccoli florets over the dough.  Layer evenly with the shredded cheeses.  Finish with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.  Transfer the pizza to a preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.  Enjoy!

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