The common reader is one who is unconcerned with critical analysis, with right or wrong. They are only concerned with personal enjoyment and fulfillment. And so I am a common cook. I am not trained in technique nor interested in debates on the proper cooking time for corn on the cob. I wish to pleasure my taste buds, I will brag about a visual feast and if my cooking also satisfies others…then the dishes flavors are enhanced.
About once a week, I see an article about the worst, fattiest, most unhealthy foods. When I feel an inclination to stand in front of a full-length mirror in an unflattering outfit or to stop spending money I read this article. Stuffed pizza always makes the list. But I look at the picture, the description, ignore the calorie count and think yumm pizza, stuffed.
This first stuffed pizza I made on a whim. This first time it was made with spinach, artichoke hearts and mushrooms – largely leftover bits that needed to be used combined with a wander around the grocery store, but it holds all sorts. There is a roasted eggplant with tomato fennel filling I have in mind. All types of crusts work, but thinly rolled sturdy ones (such as one’s made with cornmeal) are easier to work with.
Most importantly making the pizza was fun. I practiced tossing and actually succeeded without the dough once becoming a limp bracelet ringed around my arm. Unfortunately, there isn’t any proof. I made alfredo sauce without a recipe and technically, I think it was overcooked, but it tasted so much better.
Even more importantly, I loved this dish. So much that I continue to look at the pictures for the happy memories and immediately wrote it down so that I would never forget.
Awesome Stuffed Double Pizza
One recipe pizza dough.
Mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
Artichoke hearts, quartered
Hot red pepper flakes
Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Black olives, thinly sliced
Sauté spinach with a little butter and grated nutmeg until mostly wilted. Sauté mushrooms over high heat to brown without becoming too soft. Sauté whole garlic for a couple minutes. Remove and slice thinly. Into same skillet, over medium heat, pour in half-and-half. Add parmigiano and ground pepper. I also put in some leftover camembert I didn’t much care for and needed to get rid of. I didn’t want this very thin and so cooked it for longer than intended, partially at a boil. Thought it was really good though, kind of like the bottom of the fondue pot. Divide dough into about slightly larger and slightly smaller pieces (about 2/3 and 1/3) and roll out to size of pan. Brush olive oil on bottom and sides of spring form pan. Line bottom and sides with slightly larger piece of dough. Fill with spinach, mushrooms and artichoke. Pour in alfredo. Top with garlic and sprinkle with hot red pepper flakes. Cover with slightly smaller piece of dough, pinching together edges. Top with tomato, olives, rosemary and a little parmigiano. Bake at about 475° until browned. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Remove pan sides. Admire. Slice and serve. Admire. Eat. Exclaim with praise.