Chicken Pesto Pizza

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So if you know me, you know I am a fiend for pizza.  I mean who doesn’t love a full meal in one sitting.  You have a protein, a carb, a fruit, some veggies, and some added calcium. Pizza can be healthy or it doesn’t have to be–whatever preference.

This week, I have been somewhat busy, my fiancé came into town, and we have been trying to set up for the summer. One of our favorite places, before we moved from DC was Matchbox, and I loved their pesto pizza.  However we are in Atlanta now, and I decided why go out and order food when I can recreate it in my kitchen.

Let’s see what the ingredients are!

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The dough is simple: flour, olive oil, instant yeast, sea salt, a pinch of sugar, and of course water.

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Baby spinach and garlic to accompany my basil pine nut pesto.

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Ooooh look at that dough! I got fancy and added some Italian herbs to it.

Prepping that pizza with some shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, spinach mixture, and topping with my some parmesan reggiano.

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Yes ma’am its time to eat!

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza Dough (adapted by King Arthur Pizza Crust Recipe)

  • 3 cups AP Flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • cornmeal or olive oil for baking sheet

Pesto Topping

  • 3/4 cup Pesto sauce (you can make yours or buy)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup finely shredded roasted chicken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus an additional 1/2 tablespoon for brushing crust
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method 

  1. For dough: Combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook.  Make sure that the dry ingredients are combined.  When the mixer is running on medium, add the water and the olive oil. Mix until the dough forms into a ball (if your dough is too sticky add a little flour at a time). Take the dough ball out onto a clean floured surface.  Knead the dough until it is a smooth ball, about four minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or towel, and place the dough it in a warm area to let it double in size for an 1 hour.
  3. Take the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead about 1 to 2 more times.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. For pesto topping: While your dough is resting, on medium heat, add olive oil to a medium skillet. Once hot, add spinach, season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Sauté mixture, ensuring  you move constantly so that the garlic does not burn. Cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove spinach mixture from heat and place to the side.
  6. For pizza: On a either lightly greased baking sheet or cornmeal dusted pizza stone, form crust.
  7. Spread with pesto and spinach mixture.  Top with shredded chicken, dollops of ricotta, parmesan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Brush crust with olive oil (I usually add salt and Italian herbs in my olive oil)
  9. Bake pizza in your preheated oven for 12 minutes, until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  10. Brush with additional olive oil and slice pizza.
  11. Eat and enjoy!

As always let me know if you tried this recipe or liked it!

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragù with Creamy Polenta

 

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It has been a pretty rainy and gloomy couple of days, but I haven’t let that stop me.  I have been thoroughly relaxing this weekend. Rain hasn’t stopped me, I’ve been enjoying friends’ company, signed up for a kickball league, and explored the underground art scene here in Atlanta (an interesting experience is all I have to say for now).  Then, I realized I haven’t updated in about a week.  I can’t neglect my blog. I couldn’t leave my readers hanging without a weekly recipe.  Like I was saying, it has been a pretty rainy weekend so I wanted to prepare a hearty meal this Monday.  I made a run to the farmers’ market and saw some delicious cremini mushrooms and some grape tomatoes, among other things which will be in a later post. My mind started tinkering, and pasta was not on the brain.  What do you know,  I had polenta at home so I immediately knew it was on and popping on this rainy evening.

This dish is rustic yet smooth. It is hearty and luscious. Plus, I had to open a bottle of red, because this is definitely a meal to enjoy with wine.

Alright, let’s get into this dish.

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The ingredients ready to play.

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Look at how vibrant these tomatoes are. I can not wait until summer.

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Sauteing the mushrooms and onions.

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Creamy polenta ready for ragù.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragù with Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

Ragù

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A half pound of Italian sausage, casing removed (I used spicy chicken Italian sausage)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 16 ounces of sliced baby bella and cremini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, (drain half of the liquid)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Polenta

  • 2.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Italian blend cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot add the olive oil.  Add sausage to the pan and brown for about 4 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan.
  2. Add in the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and saute mixture for another 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and fresh grape tomatoes and stir constantly for an additional 1 minute.
  3. Add the sausage back to the pan along with the parsley, canned tomatoes, and wine. Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low, and let the ragù simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While the ragù is simmering, bring the broth, water, and a dash of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  5. Once the broth and water are rapidly boiling, slowly add in the polenta while simultaneously stirring..
  6. Reduce heat to medium, and whisk polenta constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, so there are no lumps.
  7. Let the polenta simmer for 20 minutes, until thick (if not using instant; if you are using instant polenta follow package directions).
  8. Once polenta is thick, stir in heavy cream, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  9. Serve the ragù over the polenta.
  10. Eat and enjoy with a nice bottle of wine and a spinach salad!

As always, leave a comment if you tried the recipe, want to try the recipe, or suggestions!

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.