Pizza is one of those meals that, unfortunately, doesn’t fit into our dinner plans very often or very easily. Besides the fact that it clings to my gut more fiercely than my 16 month old clings to my legs when I’m trying to cook, the timing never works. It can be tough to make on a weeknight, because it takes a long time to heat the stone. On the weekends, I’m more apt to make dinners that have longer cook or prep times that I absolutely can’t make during the week. So, pizza gets forgotten, not really fitting well into either category.
But I had the perfect storm of ingredients to make this pizza recently, so onto the menu it went. I had leftover goat & mozzarella cheese in my fridge, pesto in my freezer, and another meal with prosciutto already planned for later in the week, so I just bought a little extra prosciutto.
When I first saw this pizza, I noticed it was really similar to my favorite pizza ever, which is pretty much exactly like this but with grilled chicken in place of the prosciutto. There is something about fresh, garlicky pesto alongside sweet tomatoes and gooey, salty cheese that just makes the combination fantastic. Adding the goat cheese was a great idea because it just added one more layer of flavor and also made the pesto easier to spread on the pizza, since that is essentially the “sauce” here.
I decided to add the prosciutto prior to baking because I like crispy prosciutto, but you could add it at the end like Bridget did if you’d like. Also, I kiiiiiiiinda forgot about the whole roasting-the-tomatoes thing until it was pretty close to making this, so rather than roasting them for longer at a lower temperature, I just decided to do a shorter, high-temp roast. I’m putting the original instructions below, but if you are forgetful or short on time, know that a high-temp roast works just fine. (Bonus: you don’t need to increase the temperature of the oven as much for putting in the pizza.)
Do I even need to tell you we all loved this pizza? I mean, it’s pizza after all. But yes, we were all big fans and took down the whole thing (please see earlier comment about my gut…). There’s a couple balls of pizza dough in my freezer, and it’s hard to think of doing anything with them other than making this pizza again. And again.
Pizza with Prosciutto, Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
1 heaping cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. pizza dough (1/3 of this recipe)
2 oz. goat cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. pesto
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 oz. prosciutto, sliced into bite-sized pieces
Place the pizza stone on the bottom of your oven. Preheat the oven to 300. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper onto the prepared baking sheet; roast for 30 minutes, until shriveled. Increase the oven temperature to 500.
Meanwhile, set the dough aside for 10-30 minutes, loosely covered, to allow the gluten to relax. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, pesto, and red pepper flakes.
Roll the dough into a circle and then transfer to a sheet of parchment or pizza peel. Spread the goat cheese mixture onto the dough, leaving a 1″ border. Evenly disperse the roasted tomatoes, cheeses, and prosciutto. Slide the pizza onto the hot baking stone (if you are using parchment, feel free to leave the pizza on the parchment for an easier transfer). Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust is nicely browned and cheese has melted. Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes before slicing.