Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pizza Part 5: Spinach Mushroom Alfredo Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza! What’s with all the pizza?? I love it, that’s what, and according to statistics, three million pizzas are sold in the US alone every year. That’s a lot of pizza. It’s just one indication that Americans love pizza.

The first time I had ever had a spinach mushroom pizza was about six or seven years ago, and it was one of those more expensive frozen varieties at the local grocery store. It had a white sauce on it along with the cheeses, spinach, and mushrooms, and I could taste garlic. I was hooked.

I also knew I could duplicate this at home. So one day I decided to try it, and this was the result. Of course I tweaked it to my liking, and I think you’ll like this too. This is another pizza that does not use a tomato based sauce, so today you’ll expand your non-tomato based pizza sauce repertoire. Let’s get cooking!

The first step for this recipe is to get your toppings ready. Squeeze the extra liquid out of the frozen spinach. I use my hands. Seriously. I’ve tried other methods and you lose a lot of the spinach. Just grab a handful and squeeze, then put in a bowl, until you’ve done it all.

Peel the garlic and mince.

If you use fresh mushrooms, slice and sauté. If you use canned, drain well.

Next is to make the alfredo sauce. You’re going to make a white sauce by first making the roux. Roux is just a mixture of flour and fat, used to thicken sauces. In a smallish saucepan, melt the butter. Using a whisk, add the flour and cook over low to medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes (it will be bubbly), stirring.

Add about ¼ c. of the milk, immediately stirring with the whisk, using a rubber spatula to  scrape the outer edges of the bottom of the saucepan. It will be quite thick. Add the remainder of the milk and stir constantly with the whisk. At first it will be thin, but cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional minute, again stirring constantly, until thickened to a medium consistency. Remove from heat.

Press out the pizza dough into the greased sheet pan or round pizza pan. With  a spoon, evenly spread on the alfredo sauce. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese.

Distribute the spinach onto the pizza. Again, I use my hands. I’ve tried using tongs, forks, whatever; but nothing works as good as my fingers. Evenly spread the mushrooms and the minced garlic.

With the oven heated to 425°, bake the pizza for 18 minutes., until browned on the bottom of the crust.  Enjoy! ~TMMF

Spinach Mushroom Alfredo Pizza

1 pizza dough
2 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. flour
1 c. milk
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. each salt and pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach
1-2 small cans sliced mushrooms
     (or 1 package fresh)
3-5 cloves garlic

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