Back in the day, The New Deli made one huge sheet of Pesto Pizza on Fridays. A few of us still remember those days. Once in awhile, we make this recipe again, for New Deli parties. Sssh–don’t tell anyone! (It’s just for employees and family, ha…)
We found a way to prepare it using a hearty amount of chunky tomatoes, without the crust getting soggy. The secret: A first layer of thinly-sliced mozzarella cheese over the dough.
We also add extra spinach to the pesto we make up, processing it together in the blender, then adding an egg as well, which gives the pesto drizzle a good consistency.
- 1-2 lb. bread dough (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 28 oz. can chunk tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 TBS. dry oregano, rubbed
- 2/3 c. pesto
- 3 c. spinach, fresh
- 1 egg
- 8 oz. thinly-sliced mozzarella
- 8 oz. grated Jack cheese (or part Provolone cheese)
- 1/2 c. Parmesan
- Let dough get to room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare toppings. Mix the following in a strainer, setting over a bowl to catch the juice. The salt will help the tomatoes to lose their excess moisture: > 28 oz. can chunk tomatoes > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 1/2 TBS. dry oregano, rubbed
- The seasoned tomatoes can drain for several hours. Also, mix together and set aside (use blender or food processor if adding the fresh spinach): > 2/3 c. pesto > 1 egg > 3 c. fresh spinach
- Shape the room-temperature pizza dough into a circle, to fit a standard pizza pan (or very large iron pan, if available), using extra flour as necessary if dough is sticky. Sprinkle the pizza pan with fine corn meal, stretching the dough onto the pan, using: > 1-2 lb. frozen bread dough, thawed (or use homemade)
- Lay out over dough, to cover: > 8 oz. mozzarella, sliced thin
- Next add the drained, seasoned tomatoes, topping with dollops of the pesto mix. Finally, top with: > 8 oz. grated Jack cheese (or part Provolone cheese) > 1/2 c. Parmesan
6. Bake at 475 degrees, 20 minutes or more (depending on size of pizza pan).