Move over tomatoes; there’s a new game in town!
I had long thought there wasn’t anything finer in the pizza world than the elegantly understated Pizza Margherita. Often described as the true test of a pizzeria’s prowess, the Margherita relies on just a few simple toppings in the colors of the Italian flag: green basil, white mozzarella and red tomato sauce. It’s my go-to order at any thin crust pizza joint and one I make often at home as well. A recent request from my son sent me off to discover the world of white-sauced pizza and I’m glad I did. There are lots of variations but the one I came up with, using an Alfredo-style sauce bolstered with a little cooked flour and butter for thickening, was really splendid. You can definitely play around with toppings on this style of pizza but my advice is not to overdo it so you can still taste the garlic-infused white sauce.
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced shallot
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white wine
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) heavy (35%) cream
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) freshly grated parmesan
- few grinds black pepper
Two 12 – 14 inch (30 – 35 cm) pizza crusts or sufficient dough to make two pizzas.
- 1 cup (250 ml) grated Mozzarella
- 2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced mushrooms
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) thinly slices of prosciutto, torn into pieces
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded fresh basil leaves, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small pot, over medium heat. Add the minced shallots and garlic. Sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the white wine to the pan and let it bubble away till the wine is almost gone (2 – 3 minutes).
- Sprinkle the flour over top and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Whisking constantly, add the cream slowly and adjust heat so the mixture boils gently for a few minutes; the sauce will thicken slightly.
- Add the grated parmesan and then add pepper to taste. Set sauce aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare the toppings and set aside.
- Prepare the pizza crusts then divide sauce evenly over top and spread with the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle mozzarella over sauce, then arrange mushrooms on top. Add pieces of prosciutto.
- Bake pizzas for approximately 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and crust is browned.
- Remove from oven and immediately top with shredded basil, then slice and serve.
Makes 2 large pizzas.