Pizza is totally manageable on a weeknight as long as you’ve got your crust ready. So go ahead and purchase pizza dough from your fave pizza dough store and don’t even worry about it. I’m telling you this because yeasted dough is a whole other thing that this book hasn’t even touched on, but I still really, really want you to make pizza, and so this is a perfect entry point—starting at second base, if you will. On the off chance you are DYYYYIIINNG to make your dough from scratch, there are plenty of dependable recipes on the internet, some even written by me. Make the dough a day in advance so you can have this ready to rock for dinner the next day. I’m also going to go ahead and assume you don’t have a pizza stone, a pizza pan, or anything that involves hobbyist pizza-making, so just bake the pizza on a flat baking sheet, no big whoop.
This pizza has flavor on top of flavor! Pesto, red sauce and a melty mozz sauce on top. Plus, cherry tomatoes that roast right into it (use multicolored ones if you can find them) and fresh basil leaves to complete your entire world.
- Flour for sprinkling
- 2 store-bought pizza doughs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (480 ml) marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade (get Isa's recipe here)
- 1 recipe Melty Mozzy
- 1 cup (145g) halved cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup (95 g) walnut halves
- 3 cups (90 g) loosely packed fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
- 3 cups (120 g) loosely packed baby rocket (arugula)
- 1½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup (35 g) nutritional yeast flakes
- 30 ml fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 260°C (500°F). Lightly grease a large rimless baking sheet or pizza pan.
2. For the pesto, place the garlic in a blender and pulse to chop it up. Add the walnuts and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the basil, rocket, salt, nutritional yeast, ½ (120 ml) water and lemon juice and puree, leaving some texture. Stream in the olive oil and blend until well combined but not completely smooth. Taste for salt and adjust.
3. Lightly flour a cold, clean surface for rolling the dough. Place the dough on the surface and shape into a disc, then use a floured rolling pin to roll it out about 35.5 cm (14 in) wide. It’s OK if it’s not perfectly round! Transfer to the baking sheet.
4. Spread 1 cup (240 ml) or so of the marinara on the pizza, leaving about 2.5 cm (1 in) of crust around. Spoon about five dollops of pesto onto the pizza.
5. Drizzle Melty Mozzy over everything. Place cherry tomatoes artfully across the pizza and drizzle a little olive oil on top.
6. Place the pizza on the bottom of the oven (yes, right on the bottom, no rack required). Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven. It will be very hot (obviously!), so be careful. Add the basil. When cool enough to handle, slide the pizza onto a cutting board and slice. Then make your next one the same way.
Recipe and image from I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Abrams, hb, $45)