My Prosciutto Asparagus Ricotta Pizza is one of the best things I’ve ever created — just ask my husband. Crispy prosciutto, tiny fresh asparagus spears, creamy ricotta, shredded mozzarella, and my roasted tomato sauce spiked with roasted garlic cloves piled onto a homemade pizza crust with grace and gusto! This pizza is extremely flavorful with just the right amount of sweet, savory and salty.
I’m not a huge fan of asparagus. Never was. Years ago, the only widely available asparagus was canned or jarred, brownish mushy and limp, and not at all like my favorite slightly crisp tiny bright green fresh asparagus spears. No wonder few kids would eat asparagus. A lot of restaurants use asparagus as a “filler” for the plate. Those giant asparagus spears that accompany industrial-sized grilled steaks and baked potatoes at your local steakhouse are just not my idea of tasty. I prefer the teeny tiny thin spears, perhaps with a nice lemon sole wrapped around them. Now THAT is how to eat your veggies.
If you want to retain the bright green color of your asparagus after it has cooked, you will need to blanch it first. Cut the bottom halves off the asparagus spears, keeping the top halves. Start a pot of boiling water and add the top halves of the asparagus. Cook the asparagus spears for about 4 minutes and then plunge into a bowl of ice water. The asparagus spears will keep their pretty green color.
You’ll need a prepared pizza dough. Use whichever recipe you like, or purchase a fresh or frozen dough from your local grocer. The dough will need to be thawed and rolled and stretched out on to a greased pan. I’m still experimenting with several doughs that I make in my Vitamix.
Chop some sliced Italian prosciutto ham. We buy ours in bulk and freeze it. Prosciutto is a salty dry-cured ham that adds a lot of flavor to a dish. A little goes a long way.
Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella over the pizza dough.
Fresh ricotta cheese is a heavenly addition to a pizza. Just spoon it on in tablespoon-sized dollops and it will melt into sweet, wonderful goodness.
I like to use my roasted tomato sauce as a pizza sauce. Even simpler, you can take some roasted grape tomatoes and coarsely chop them in a food processor with some roasted garlic cloves adding a bit of sugar and some dried basil. Drop the thick chunky sauce in spoonfuls across the dough instead of spreading it. That allows the concentrated sauce to spread out slightly but not cause the dough to become soggy.
Drain the asparagus spears. Arrange the asparagus spears across the pizza dough. You could make a pattern or just arrange them randomly. And sprinkle on the crispy prosciutto pieces and top with the rest of the shredded mozzarella.
Bake the pizza for 10 – 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, being careful to watch the crust bottom so it doesn’t burn. The center should be hot and bubbly.
Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool a bit so it’s easier to slice.
Slice the prosciutto asparagus ricotta pizza into hearty portions.
Top the pizza slices with a bit more shredded parmesan and serve!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Prosciutto Asparagus Ricotta Pizza
1 prepared pizza dough
6 very thin slices prosciutto ham, chopped
20 thin asparagus spears, cut in half, bottom stems discarded or reserved for other use
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 T shredded Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1 c roasted tomato sauce
1/4 c roasted garlic cloves
2 c fresh ricotta cheese
Bowl of ice water
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Roll out your prepared pizza dough onto a greased pizza pan or baking sheet and set aside.
3. In a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, saute the prosciutto until it is crispy and then set aside.
4. While the prosciutto is crisping, lightly cook the asparagus spears in boiling water for 4 minutes. Plunge the asparagus spears into a large bowl of ice water to cool.
5. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the pizza dough on the pan.
6. Spread half of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the pizza dough.
7. Sprinkle the 2T of Parmesan over the mozzarella.
8. In a small food processor, combine and coarsely chop the roasted tomato sauce and roasted garlic cloves. Spoon the sauce over the pizza in dollops.
9. Using a large spoon, drop dollops of the ricotta cheese over the pizza.
10. Arrange the blanched asparagus spears over sauce and cheese on the pizza.
11. Sprinkle the crispy prosciutto on the pizza.
12. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella over the pizza.
13. Bake the pizza for 10 – 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust is brown and the pizza center is bubbling.
14. Remove the pizza from the oven and let it sit a few minutes before cutting into pieces.
15. Serve the pizza with additional shredded Parmesan as garnish.
Serves 4 – 8 hungry pizza eaters. Serve alone or with a mixed green salad tossed with my Tarragon Balsamic Dressing.
Variations: You can use fat free cheeses on this pizza. Also, you can omit the roasted tomato garlic sauce for more of a “white pizza” taste. If you don’t have proscuitto, you can use crispy bacon although the flavor is not as delicate. Add some sliced mushrooms or bell pepper rings. Pitted Kalamata olives are another good addition.
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