I had some ricotta in the fridge leftover from a lasagna recipe I was testing, and was trying to figure out what to do with it when I saw this post from A Modern Christian Woman, and knew I had to make a homemade pizza with ricotta! She posts great “from scratch” recipes, that aren’t intimidating to make! I’ve never made my own pizza dough, but she made this recipe look quick and simple, so I decided to give it a go. I’m so glad I did, because this was so easy, and tasted better than the prepared pizza dough I normally buy in the supermarket!
To make the pizza dough, simply combine yeast and warm water, and allow to dissolve in a large bowl. You will know if your yeast is still good if you see some foaming on the top. Add salt, oil, and 2 cups of flour (I did a whole wheat version so I did 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour). Mix together and keep adding flour until it is no longer sticky.
Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic. This part is very therapeutic :)
Isn’t that lovely? While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, mix up 1 cup ricotta cheese with salt, pepper and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Grate one large zucchini, then squeeze all the liquid out of the zucchini and combine it with 1/2 cup of mozzarella, salt and pepper. I sliced up some fresh tomatoes, red peppers and Trader Joe’s sun dried tomato chicken sausage for toppings as well :) I loved this flavor of TJ’s chicken sausage. It’s perfect for pizzas and pastas!
I stretched my pizza dough onto a pizza pan sprayed with non-stick spray, then layered with the ricotta cheese, zucchini and cheese mixture, veggies, sausage, and extra cheese for the top :) The dough was really soft, and easy to form…and I loved the smell of fresh yeast!
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is golden. This crust was perfect, it was crispy all the way to the middle with a yummy nuttiness from the whole wheat flour. I froze the other round of pizza dough for another time. I love that this process was so simple, and I can get two pizzas from it :) The toppings were perfect…I loved the creaminess from the ricotta cheese and the freshness of the zucchini and other veggies.
Served with a fresh green salad, this is a perfect weeknight or special weekend meal :) If you’re like me, and are intimidated by baking with yeast, please try this pizza dough recipe, it’s so easy and delicious!
Fast Pizza Dough slightly adapted from A Modern Christian Woman
1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ricotta cheese, part skim
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, grated and squeezed to remove liquid
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
1 Roma Tomato
1/2 red pepper, seeded and sliced
2 Trader Joe’s sundried tomato chicken sausages
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese for topping
Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl, and allow to dissolve. Yeast will foam if still active. Add in oil, salt, 1 cup all purpose flour, and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Mix until dough is no longer sticky, adding additional whole wheat flour as needed (I added about another 1/2 cup). Turn out onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Divide dough in half, and place the rounds on a well oiled baking sheet under a clean dish towel to rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. While waiting for dough to rise, mix ricotta cheese with garlic, salt and pepper. Mix grated and drained zucchini with cheese, salt and pepper. Stretch dough to form a round and place on a non-stick sprayed pizza pan or sheet pan if making a rectangle. Top with ricotta cheese mixture, zucchini and cheese mixture, and additional toppings of your choice. Add 1/2 cup of cheese at the end, and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and toppings are golden brown. Serve piping hot.