Pizza #1: Alabama

Like I mentioned yesterday, Tommy and I have started our Friday Night Pizza Tradition.  We decided to recreate America’s best pizza’s {a list we found on the Food Network} one state at a time, in alphabetical order. So first up is Alabama with the BLT Pizza.

When you think BLT, you typically think bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  However, this pizza has kicked it up a notch by using ricotta, mozzarella, bacon, tomatoes, and arugula.  After reading this list of ingredients, Tommy and I decided to take matters in our own hands.

First up, I made my homemade crust using flour, sugar, salt, rapid-rise yeast, olive oil, warm water, and a few of my own secret ingredients, 😉

While I was busy preparing the crust, Tommy worked on the sauce and toppings.  We make a pretty good team, if I do say so myself!

After the crust had a chance to rest and rise a little bit, and Tommy put the finishing touches on the sauce, it was time to start topping the pizza.  We decided to use the tomato sauce as our ‘tomato’ in the BLT pizza, and we stirred the ricotta into it, making it creamy and delicious!  We topped our pizza with arugula, crispy bacon, and a sprinkle of mozzarella.

There are a  few ways you could alter this pizza, and if we make it again, we might experiment with some changes.  For example, instead of stirring the ricotta into the sauce, you could dollop it onto the pizza similar to the way you would for lasagna.  We used turkey bacon because I did the grocery shopping and that is my preference. {Tommy made sure I heard his objection and even threatened to go out and buy ‘real’ bacon}.  Also, the arugula can be saved to put on the very top of the pizza at the end of it’s baking.  We’ve had pizza with arugula in this state, but thought it to have a rather strong flavor, so we opted to put it at the bottom of the topping and cook it.

We cooked our pizza on a pizza stone, giving our crust an extra crispness that we absolutely loved.  By the time we pulled it out of the oven, our cheese and crust were both a lovely golden brown, and the aroma was irresistible.  We couldn’t wait to dig in.    Needless to say, we were both pleased with the outcome and thankful to start our adventure off with a tasty winner!

I can’t wait to see what’s up for next week, I hope you all keep up with us and our pizza baking…and don’t be afraid to try them out yourselves, 😉 {Recipe posted below!}

Recipe:

BLT Pizza

Tatiana’s Crust:

2-3 cups flour

1 Tbs. rapid rise yeast

1 Tbs. sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tbs. Olive oil

1 cup warm water

herbs

Mix all ingredients together, starting with 2 cups of flour.  Stir together till dough is moist.  Add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough is dry enough to knead.  Dump onto lightly floured surface and need in remaining flour or until dough is no longer sticky.  Roll out dough into a circle and let rest while you prepare the toppings.

Tommy’s Sauce

1 can tomato sauce

4 oz. ricotta cheese

sugar

cinnamon

fresh garlic (minced)

salt

oregano

Italian seasoning

crushed red pepper

There are no measurements to the above herbs and spices due to the fact that Tommy doesn’t measure.  It’s all a matter of dash and taste.  To be honest, I may not have even listed all the items he used, so go ahead, find your spices, and don’t be afraid to experiment.  Taste it along the way until it has a flavor you love.  Mix it in a sauce pan until a soft boil begins, take off heat and stir in ricotta.  Pour onto prepared crust and spread evenly.

Toppings:

Baby Arugula

Turkey bacon (fried and crispy)

Mozzarella cheese

Bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

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