Easy to make with storebought dough. Simple ingredients and just a little spice. See the Notes section at the bottom for more details.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Storebought (or homemade) pizza dough, with flour for rolling out
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
About 1/3 pound fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into shreds or rounds
1-2 teaspoons of Aleppo pepper
About 1.5 ounces (several generous handfuls) baby arugula
Flaky sea salt
About 1 ounce prosciutto (5-6 slices)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Measure the olive oil into a small dish, then use a microplane to grate the garlic into the olive oil. Add the salt and stir with a fork to combine.
2. Roll the dough on a floured surface to about 14 inches in diameter. Generously sprinkle the cornmeal over the surface of a baking sheet (preferably un-rimmed), large enough to hold the pizza, to prevent it from sticking to the sheet. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
3. Brush the olive oil mixture over the surface of the pizza, leaving an un-brushed strip around the outer edge to be the crust. Reserve the rest of the olive oil mixture. Use the back of a spoon to spread the ricotta evenly over the olive oil, then distribute the mozzarella pieces over the ricotta. When the oven is fully preheated, give the baking sheet a gentle shake back and forth to be sure the crust isn’t sticking, then slide it into the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the outer crust is browned and all the cheese is melty and bubbly.
4. Remove the pizza from the oven and quickly sprinkle the Aleppo pepper evenly over the cheese. Distribute the arugula over the pizza, then drizzle some of the olive oil over the arugula, followed by a couple pinches of the flaky sea salt. Distribute the prosciutto over the pizza, followed by a little more drizzled olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.
I recently had a pizza with arugula and prosciutto at a local restaurant called Ah Pizz. Their pizza is thinly stretched dough crisped in a wood-fired oven, and it’s really and truly delightful. My brother had just moved to town (to work with me at Adventure Kitchen! How exciting!! More about this soon….) literally about 2 hours earlier that day. He was exhausted from his cross-country drive, understandably irritated at my incessantly-barking dog, horrified by the snow on the ground (did I mention he moved from LA?) and in need of a warm, comforting and nourishing meal. So we took him to Ah Pizz, where I ordered way too many appetizers and he and I shared that pizza, while we entertained my kids with childhood stories of bygone restaurant meals from another era.
But that pizza. It was garlicky and flavorful, with enough mounds of arugula to give you pause before you take the first bite. How is this going to work? you wonder. Is this a salad-on-pizza type of situation? Will it all fall off in the eating? Should I be using a fork? But you need to just go with it, because it’s delicious.
And it was that pizza that was still on my mind when I was planning my daughter’s pizza-making sleepover pizza party about a week later. We set out all the toppings and she and 6 middle school friends opted for the classics: tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, a little basil, the occasional pepperoni. After all their pizzas were baked and their movie was underway, I could finally make what I wanted, with the arugula and prosciutto none of the girls had chosen.
This recipe is basically what I made that night. The ricotta and mozzarella provide a creamy base and the garlicky olive oil adds lots of flavor. The sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper bring everything together. The arugula slightly wilts on the hot pizza, just enough for everything to hang together fairly well.
I used Aleppo pepper on this because it has so much flavor bang for the heat buck. If you’re not familiar, you can find out more here. It’s a mildly spicy, flavorful, slightly smoky chile originally from Syria. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper you can use regular crushed red pepper, but you’ll want to use less.
I don’t currently have a pizza steel or pizza stone, and certainly don’t have a wood-fired oven (sigh). So I baked this on a flat baking sheet on the middle rack, using the cornmeal method to prevent it sticking. You could probably also use parchment paper, but I like the idea that my pizza is crisping directly on the hot baking sheet, and those little bits of cornmeal let me pretend I might be eating something made in a finer establishment than my own humble kitchen.
This recipe would totally work in warmer weather, given the fresh greens. If you’d like to avoid heating up your house on a summer day, you can use the grilled pizza method I wrote about here.
Originally from Aleppo, Syria, this pepper is now being grown in neighboring Turkey. Mildly spicy, it’s like a cross between ancho chile and red bell peppers. Addictively good on veggies of all kinds, as well as grilled meats, fish and more.
1/2 cup-sized jar.