SERVES: MAKES 4 9-INCH PIZZAS
- 1 batch Neapolitan pizza dough
- 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped and tossed in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and stemmed and tightly packed
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup pinenuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- ½ pound small or cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups fontina or provolone cheese, grated
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- red pepper flakes
- basil leaves for garnish
- Prepare the Neapolitan pizza dough and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat a pizza stone in the oven set to 500 degrees F. Make pizza crusts according to the video directions on Craftsy.
- Prepare the pesto. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the chopped garlic and olive oil mixture. Stir for 15 seconds and remove from heat. You want to seat the garlic, not brown it.
- Place the basil leaves, parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic oil mixture into a food processor. Pulse until the basil has broken down and the ingredients are mixed. The mixture should be bright green and have a pebbly texture. It should be thin enough to spread but not runny. Add kosher salt to taste and add more olive oil if the sauce is too thick. Transfer the sauce to a container or bowl.
- Prepare the pizza rounds . Dust a baker’s peel with flour and carefully transfer one pizza round to the peel.
- Lightly spread the pesto sauce on the pizza dough leaving a 1-inch border, then sprinkle with shredded cheese and 3 slices of the fresh mozzarella. Top with slices of tomatoes and extra shredded parmesan if desired.
- Line up the edge of the baker’s peel with far edge of stone, tilt peel and jerk the pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the dough is crisp and brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pizza on the peel to a cutting board, cut into slices and serve immediately. Top with more pesto, fresh basil leaves and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
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