Recipe: Roasted Asparagus & Ricotta Pizza
This recipe makes enough pizza dough for two sheet pan pizzas – one ball of dough for now, and one to freeze for later. If you don’t feel like making pizza dough from scratch, store-bought dough works just fine. Or, better yet, ask your local pizza parlor to sell you a few balls of fresh dough!
A white pizza topped with pretty spears of asparagus is a great way to celebrate spring and asparagus season! The dough was easy to work with, and it’s great that it makes enough for two pizzas, so you can toss the second piece into the freezer.
I had fairly thick asparagus spears, so I cut them in half lengthwise before putting them on the pizza — it also made for a fun presentation!
– Christine, April 2015
Roasted Asparagus & Ricotta Pizza
For the pizza dough (or substitute 1 pound store-bought dough per pizza):
- 2 3/4 cups
bread flour, plus extra for working the dough
- 1 cup
whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons
rapid-rise yeast (from about two 1/4-ounce packets)
- 3/4 teaspoon
- 3/4 teaspoon
- 1 1/2 cups
plus 2 tablespoons warm water
For one pizza:
- 3 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup
shredded mozzarella cheese
bunch asparagus (about 8 ounces), tough ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup
grated Parmesan cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to form a shaggy but cohesive dough. (If mixing gets too difficult, just use your hands to work the dough instead.)
Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and then a clean kitchen towel. Set it aside at room temperature to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the upper third. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil onto a sheet pan, then tilt the pan around to evenly distribute the oil – you want the pan liberally oiled.
When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a sharp, floured knife to cut the dough into two equal pieces. Leave one piece out on the work surface. (Wrap the other tightly in plastic wrap, place in a zip-top bag, and store in the freezer for later use. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then let it come to room temperature before using.)
Place the piece of pizza dough you’re using on the sheet pan. Flour your hands and press and stretch the dough into the pan, until it nearly reaches the edges. (If it rips, just press it back together.) If the dough starts to spring back and shrink while you’re pressing it out, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, then resume pressing. You should end up with a flat rectangle of dough roughly 1/2-inch thick.
Spread the ricotta over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust. Top with the shredded mozzarella, then lay the asparagus over the cheese. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the asparagus, and top with grated Parmesan, and a few pinches of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Bake the pizza until the crust is deeply brown, the asparagus is tender, and the cheese is browned and bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes.
Let the pizza cool slightly before slicing it into squares or rectangles. Serve hot.
You can substitute 2 pounds of store-bought pizza dough for the dough in this recipe (1 pound of dough per pizza).
Reprinted from Sheet Pan Suppers. Copyright © 2014 by Molly Gilbert. Published by Workman Publishing Company.
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