White pizza, or pizza bianca, is simply pizza without tomato sauce—and, in this instance, with an inspired and noteworthy dollop of ricotta.
This subtly flavored white pizza is what author Jamie Geller refers to as “dressed down.” Her words. Forgive us, but those of us who delight in simpler pleasures consider plain white pizza plenty dressed up. Spiffy, in fact. Still, for those of you who prefer to be knocked giddy with flavor, you may wish to strew this pizza with sautéed garlic and freshly torn basil leaves (as the author suggests), hot chile flakes, or any of countless other strew-ons suggested by our recipe testers in the comments below the recipe. Suit yourself.–Renee Schettler
WHAT WINE CAN I PAIR WITH A WHITE PIZZA?
One last word of wisdom from the author. Geller posits, “Never thought of Champagne with pizza? Think again.” White pizza and white wine are a marriage made in heaven. Pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc are a terrific match but something bubbly is even better. And don’t worry if it’s not the expensive stuff—sparkling white wine does just as well as the fancy bottles.
- Baking stones (optional), but worth it
- Finely ground cornmeal for the baking sheet
- 1 pound pizza dough
- All-purpose flour for the work surface
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup ricotta
- Coarse sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Lightly sprinkle 2 pizza stones or baking sheets with a dusting of cornmeal.
- Separate the pizza dough into 2 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each piece of dough, then transfer it to a prepared pizza stone or baking sheet. Drizzle each dough round with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top each with 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella and dot all over with 1/2 cup ricotta (about 10 dollops per pizza). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through baking.
- Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and an additional drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
Blue Cheese, Pear, and Arugula Pizza variationInstead of drizzling the dough directly with olive oil, first arrange 2 unpeeled, cored, and very thinly sliced pears on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Then drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bake until the crust is just starting to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese over the pears and scatter 1/2 to 1 cup baby arugula over the top. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
If you're looking for wonderful white pizza that isn't complicated, here it is. Simple and delicious, that's what this white pizza recipe is. We devoured this pizza rather quickly. Everyone loved it. It didn’t matter what anyone's personal tastes were—carnivore, vegetarian, etc.—this pizza was a hit.
The creamy ricotta with the golden brown crisped mozzarella and the hint of salt was well-balanced and satisfying. The look is rustic but beautiful. No dress-up necessary. The measurements are spot on. It took my pizza 14 minutes in the oven. We drizzled some reduced balsamic vinegar on top of a few slices–magnifico!
I was pleasantly surprised by the final result of this white pizza. I was sure while making it that it would be quite salty. Once it was out of the oven and I cut a slice, though, I was amazed at its light texture and its mild and not-terribly-salty flavor. I really, really liked how light this white pizza was.
However, I was disappointed at the single flavor note of this pizza—salt. So I decided to dress it up, as the author suggests, and added a chiffonade of basil and sautéed garlic on top of the cheese. Lo and behold, the transformation! The pizza went from a single note to an amazing flavor profile. I'll be keeping this in my recipe collection.
Originally published March 3, 2014