Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Spicy Pizza with Garlic Confit & Pesto

Pizza, salad and a glass (or two) of red wine and I am a happy girl. For my pizza, I like simple toppings, a delicious crust and just a small amount of sauce and cheese. And I am one of those people that likes cold and crisp salad paired with the hot pizza. Literally paired...as in pile the salad on top of the pizza. Does that sound weird?

I discovered this pizza at at Italian restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico a couple of weeks ago and decided I needed to recreate it for myself. Very thin crust spread with a smidge of very flavorful tomato sauce and fresh buffalo cheese, topped with garlic confit, roasted jalapeno peppers and then drizzled with olive oil and basil pesto.  So delicious. This one is a keeper!

Spicy Pizza with Garlic Confit & Pesto

1 head garlic
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 750 g (26.46 oz) box Italian chopped tomatoes (I like the Pomi brand)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 14 inch pizza crust (dough recipe here) or high quality store bought
8 oz buffalo mozzarella, sliced
basil pesto (recipe follows)
sea salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Peel garlic from head and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, a pinch each salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes. Heat over medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until the garlic is very soft and spreadable. Let cool in oil. Set aside.

Add jalapeno to pie plate and roast in oven 5 minutes or until soft. Do not let brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Do not turn off oven.

Saute onion in 1 tbsp olive oil in medium saucepan until translucent. Add tomatoes, oregano and small pinch each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside.

Add dough ball to lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a 14 inch circle. (It does not have to be perfect. A rustic look is more authentic.) Roll the dough up around the rolling pin to make it easier to move. Unroll the dough onto a pizza stone or baking sheet which has been lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with coarse cornmeal. (the cornmeal adds a delicious flavor and helps ensure the pizza dough will not stick to pan.)  Prick dough with a fork all over and bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread 1 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce over dough. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with the jalapeno and drizzle pesto over pizza. Top with the garlic confit and place pizza in preheated oven. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and drizzle a little of the oil from the confit over the pizza. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese, cut into 2 pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh red cayenne pepper (or other fresh hot red pepper), seeded
5 cups basil leaves (packed)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Toast pine nuts in skillet until just beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add cheese to food processor fitted with the chopping/mixing blade.  Process until cheese is grated.  Add cooled pine nuts, garlic and red pepper and process until all ingredients are finely grated.  Add half of basil leaves, and 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth but with a bit of texture. Add remaining basil, remaining olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process until well mixed.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

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Other Pizza recipes you may enjoy:

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Pizza. Do you have a favorite pizza recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Dishin & Dishes: Crab Rangoon Pizza Flatbread
Daisy at Home: 
Mini Pizza Bites
The Cultural Dish: 
Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Spicy Pizza with Garlic Confit & Pesto
Red or Green: 
Tostada Pizza
Swing Eats: 
Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
Quilt Pizza
Taste with the Eyes: 
Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas
The Mom 100: 
Two-Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Naan Pizza
FN Dish: 
6 Newfangled Ways to Get Your Pizza Fix


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

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