Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pesto Benno Pizza

Let's just clear this up from the beginning: I really, really screwed up this recipe. I did not make the crust from scratch, which I should have. I did not "parbake" the one I bought, because I forgot. So I put everything on the dough and baked it and - not surprisingly - the dough did not cook through. It was not awesome.

Now, I do think it would have been pretty good if it had gone right, but I don't think it would have been excellent. The pesto is just alright. It's a very salty pizza from the pesto and cheese. I don't think I would try it again with the correct dough - I just don't care enough about it.


Pesto Benno Pizza
Vegetarian Times, April/May 2011

Named after one of Batali's sons, this pizza is a weekly special at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in New York. Even if you don't make the pizza, try the pesto recipe; it's great on pasta and sandwiches.

3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 generous pinch Maldon or other flaky sea salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino-Romano cheese

1 parbaked pizza crust
1/2 cup grated fresh mozzarella (4 ounces)

1. To make Pesto: Drop garlic into running food processor and process until finely chopped. Add basil, pine nuts, and salt, and pulse until basil and pine nuts are coarsely chopped. Scrape sides of bowl, then process until finely chopped. With food processor motor running, drizzle in oil. Transfer to small bowl, and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano.

2. To make Pizza: Spread 6 tablespoons pesto over parbaked pizza crust, leaving 1/2-inch border; reserve remaining pesto for another use. Scatter mozzarella over pesto. Broil 7 to 8 minutes; cut into 6 slices, and serve.

Yield: 1 10-inch pizza

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