Spinach Artichoke Pizza
Pizza is the perfect cure for a hectic tornado of a week. It’s fast and easy to make and if you want a shortcut, then instead of making homemade dough you can find pre-made dough in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. This particular pizza is everyone’s favorite dip reincarnated in pizza form. The white pizza is topped with garlic, olive oil, a heap of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, marinated artichoke hearts and spinach.
This week has been quite the whirlwind of travel for me so pizza came to mind as an obvious choice for when you want some good food, but have no time available to prepare it. And this has been one of those type of weeks. On Sunday I flew from Los Angeles to Florida and the next day my family and I attended the college football national championship game in Tampa. My team, Alabama, was playing Clemson for the chance at back-to-back national titles. Unfortunately Alabama lost but we had a great time at the game. My brother had to be back at school for classes the next day so Tuesday morning I flew to New Jersey with my mom and packed up my brother’s car. My mom and I are setting out this morning for a road trip to bring both his car and his dog, Dixie, a British black lab, back to him at school in Alabama. So I am off for about 1000 miles of driving and some good quality time with my mom (and Dixie!). The plan is to make it there by Thursday and fly back to LA on Saturday morning.
By then, I will be ready for some good homemade pizza, especially this one with plenty of cheese.
1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (6-ounce) jar quartered marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1½ cups baby spinach
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Pizza stone (optional)
Pizza peel (optional)
Preheat oven to 500º. If you have a pizza stone then put it on the middle shelf and let it heat up with the oven.
Divide the pizza dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll out one of the halves of dough into about a 10-inch circle. The dough should be fairly thin. Place the dough on piece of parchment paper on top of the pizza peel. If you do not have a pizza stone/peel then prepare the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Rub the olive oil and garlic over the pizza dough including the edges. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from the oven and alternate layering half of the mozzarella cheese, artichokes and spinach evenly over the pizza. Leave about 1” around the edge of the pizza for the crust.
Top with the Parmesan cheese then continue to bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about an additional 6 minutes. Top with salt, pepper and half of the red pepper then cut into equal slices and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough.
Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas.