Dec 29, 2009

Three-Cheese Pizza w/ Mushroom & Basil

Long gone are the high heel-clad nights sipping appletinis with my sorority sisters. Slowly but surely, bouncers have been replaced with supermarket baggers. Trendy hairstyles and strappy little dresses have morphed into ponytails and elastic waistbands. And that heart-pounding dance floor has been swapped out for a worn seat on the couch. It’s called married life, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that in this world, Fridays nights are reserved for grocery shopping, sweatpants and pizza.

But don’t mistake my sarcasm for complaining. As cliché as it sounds, I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially not the pizza part. Meat. Cheese. Dough. A balanced meal if you ask me. Add in an ice cold Coke, a movie and a foot massage if I’m lucky, and you’ve got my most anticipated night of the week.

The Friday before Christmas, in all its chaos, was no exception. I was once again craving an easy dinner, with the added challenge of using up leftover basil from the champion chicken parmesan and some mushrooms I never got around to stuffing. As you can see, victory was mine when I stumbled upon this perfect recipe. When you want something fast, nothing beats pre-made crust and jarred sauce.
I wanted to make enough for the weekend, so I doubled the recipe, making two mini pizzas and one large thin crust. But really, the only time consuming step was slicing the mushrooms, which can totally be avoided if you buy the pre-sliced variety like the recipe instructs. After a little sautéing, I started the layering. 




Dollops of ricotta and Parmesan.


Sautéed  mushrooms.


Oh, and I added a little bacon. You know, for protein.


Handfuls of mozzarella.


Then I tossed them in the oven and poured a couple drinks while Luke put in the movie and set up makeshift tables in front of the TV. When the pizzas were bubbly and golden, I sprinkled them with fresh basil, sliced them, and headed into the living room to become a sauce-faced zombie for 90 minutes. Nothing more beautiful than the soft glow of Hollywood illuminating a homemade pie.



Oh my goodness was this pizza good. Homemade pizza has a tendency to be bland and generic, but this was great. The ricotta and basil really made it taste fancy and the sautéed mushrooms were awesome. Far better than frozen pizza. Far less greasy than delivery. Far cheaper than going out.

And as for going out, I was far happier sitting on the couch with my man and a belly full of cheese and bacon. Life is good.

Three-Cheese Pizza w/ Mushroom & Basil
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 slices or 1/4 of pizza)

Cookbook Note: Use a teaspoon to evenly dollop the ricotta-Parmesan mixture over the sauce.

Cooking spray
1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1/2  cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1  (10-ounce) Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1  cup  chunky vegetable pasta sauce (such as Ragu)
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2  tablespoons  thinly sliced fresh basil
(I also added about 6 slices of that pre-cooked boxed bacon, chopped)

Preheat oven to 450º.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread the pasta sauce over crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Dollop ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the sauce, and top with mushrooms. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 450º for 12 minutes or until crust is crisp. Sprinkle with basil, and cut into 4 wedges.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 356 (26% from fat), Fat:10.1g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.2g), Protein: 19.4g, Carbohydrate: 42g, Fiber: 2g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Iron: 2.2mg, Sodium: 1033mg, Calcium: 445mg.

Source: Cooking Light, September 2003


V said...

I was so craving pizza last night and still am. This is delicious:) Happy New Year from sits:)

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Stopping by from SITS. Great blog. I'm w/you - don't have much exp. in kitchen. I started a foodienewbie blog, but haven't done too much with it. You've given me inspiration. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yum! It's only 9:15 in the morning and this post makes me want to make a Pizza and eat the WHOLE thing! :)

Happy SITS Saturday!

B said...

That looks really yummy!

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Jamie Cooks It Up! said...

What a fun site! I am happy to know of you as well! I'm following now and look forward to reading your posts.

Marie Said So said...

R- I wish you still lived here so I could taste test all your foods! This looks great--I loooove pizza!

I'm planning a Bridal Shower. Any menu suggestions??? Figured you'd be the best person to ask.


V said...

Thanx for the sweet words...2010 is feeling brighter already:) cheers!

Tina Lane said...

The Hubs and I have also discovered and fallen in love with these pre-fab pizza crusts that we can add toppings to. What a great recipe you came up with.

I am still rebelling against elastic waist bands but I sooo feel you on this one. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Laurie said...

I am now a master of pizza dough. Been practicing a bit for a few months. Tomorrow I am going to bake a spinach/Canadian Bacon/Cheese pizza. Far better and cheaper than takeout. I find a handful of corn flour make my crusts a bit unique and firmer. thanks for the lovely blog.

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Oooh, Laurie....that pizza sounds so yummy, as most things with bacon are!

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