Pizza Primavera

So as you already know (if you have read the previous post…that’s OK…go ahead…I’ll wait…) our little family recently returned from 20 days in France and Italy.  There was very little restaurant eating done while we were in France as we stayed with friends who either cooked for us, or graciously let us cook for them!  In Rome, however, we stayed in a tiny studio apartment that, had it been winter, would have been just fine for cooking simple meals, but since summer in Rome is hotter than HELL, we opted to eat our afternoon and evening meals out of the house.  I was MORE than OK with that because Rome has some of the most fantastic dining opportunities that I have ever experienced.  Like I know I’ve mentioned before, we like good food, we don’t like to spend a ton of money, we will more than happily drink a liter (yep…a full liter) of house wine, and we LOVE pizza!

We went to Fior Fiore two or three times the last time we were in Rome.  It was recommended to us by a good friend of Jake’s who spent some time working in Italy on films like Gangs of New York and Casanova, and we were bowled over by how incredible it was!  It is in a pretty touristy area of Rome where there is no shortage of restaurants and pizzerias, so we were ecstatic to know that we were getting great food and we weren’t getting ripped off!  One of my most memorable meals from our last trip to Rome was the Zucchini Pizza, and we couldn’t wait to get there on this trip…we ate two lunches there and it was as awesome as we remembered! (more on Fior Fiore in a future post!)

Our friend Siddhartha suggested that we all go to Ricci Est! Est!! Est!!! after we (Jake, Gemma, Sid, Chiara, their little girl Amala, and I) had spent an incredible afternoon “lake hopping” on an incredibly hot day!  I had seen it mentioned in the Rick Steve’s “bible,” but we had never made it there on our own.  I am so glad we got there during this visit because I ordered their Pizza Primavera and it inspired me to add on to the Zucchini Pizza!

Pizza Primavera

inspired by pizzas I inhaled at both Fior Fiore and Ricci Est!  Est!!  Est!!!

Ingredients:

*1 ball of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s

*2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

*1/4-1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese

*2 medium zucchini, grated (I grated them by hand with the box grater)

*1-1 ½ cups bagged, shredded mozzarella cheese

*16 grape or cherry tomatoes (I roasted them first by:  preheating the oven to 410 degrees.  Mix them with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp each dried parsley and thyme, salt and pepper to taste.  Place them on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes or until they start to shrivel)

To Make:

*Prepare the dough according to package directions.

(*We cook our pizza pretty low in the oven so as not to burn the cheese…see what works for you!)

*Preheat oven to 500 degrees

*Roll or spin out to your desired thickness and place on the cooking device of your choice.  (We now use a medium pizza screen that my mother in law got for us from the pizza place that Jake worked at when he was in high school.  It works better for us than any stone or pan we’ve tried)

*Spread olive oil on entire crust.  Follow suit with the ricotta cheese.

*Add zucchini to the crust making sure that it is spread uniformly.  Add mozzarella over all of the zucchini.

*Add roasted tomatoes to the top.

*Bake for 10-12 minutes .

Survey Says:

This is a combination that I have never seen on a pizza menu in the States, but I’m telling you…we need to make it happen!  If you love zucchini like I do, then you will LOVE this pizza!!  It becomes one with the cheese and is so so so so so good!!  I think that this may even appeal to people who aren’t so keen on zucchini!  I feel proud knowing that I have done justice to the pizzas that inspired me, and this will be a good substitute until we return to Rome!!

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