Ricotta, Tapenade and Cherry Tomato Pizza


I may have to start making round pizzas instead of these long rectangular ones. There is no good way to photograph a pizza, I love posting about pizza, love the crazy ways we have been making it these days, but I don’t get a whole lot of visual from them. Something I need to work on, angles, colors and what I always miss in my tiny kitchen, light. One small window with a tree in front of it, I have barely any natural light to photograph with.

On to the pizza, we have made this one a few times and love it. The ricotta cuts the pungency of the olive tapenade, the tomatoes add a lovely sweetness and the mozzarella needs to excuse to be there. Complex, yet subtle flavors. Delicious.

Ricotta, Tapenade and Cherry Tomato Pizza

  • basic pizza dough (recipe below)
  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup black olive tapenade
  • an 8 oz. round of fresh mozzarella, we use about half, but you may want to make it cheesier
  • 1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 425° at least 30 minutes prior to baking the pizza.

Wash and quarter the tomatoes.

Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape. Cover first with the ricotta, spreading it over the dough, sprinkle freshly ground pepper over the ricotta to your liking. Spread the olive tapenade over the ricotta, or to simplify everything, blend the tapenade with the ricotta prior to spreading on the pizza. Top with tomatoes and mozzarella. Bake on top of a cookie sheet or a very hot pizza stone. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking frequently, when the pizza is golden in color and starting to bubble it is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

Basic Pizza Dough from Naples at Table, Cooking in Campania

  • 1 envelope dried yeast (2½ tsp)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup warm water
  • (We added a tsp of sugar to the dough, gives something to the yeast to feed on)

In a 2-cup glass measure, with a table fork, dissolve the yeast in the 1 cup of warm water. Stir in ½ cup of flour, cover with a clean dishtowel and let it stand until the  mixture foams up to about double – to 2 cups –  about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine 3½ cups of the flour with the salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and the remaining ½ cup of warm water. Stir until the dough masses together. Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead, folding and turning the dough onto itself, then pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand, about 10 to 12 minutes, adding, little by little, just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Be careful not to add too much flour or too much at one time. When you have finished, the dough should not stick to the board; it should be smooth, silken, slightly damp on the surface, and very elastic. Dust the dough lightly all over with flour and place in a bowl to rise, covered with a clean dishtowel, for about 1 hour, or until it has slightly more than doubled in bulk.

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~ by italicious on August 30, 2011.

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