Sun-dried tomato pizza
"This pizza incorporates the flavor profile of my favorite ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes and pesto," says Sacramento chef Fabrizio Cercatore. "It is one of my favorite pizzas to make—and eat!"
Chef/co-owner Fabrizio CercatoreHot Italian
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1 store-bought or homemade 12-inch pizza crust
4 oz. mozzarella
2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp. basil pesto (recipe follows)
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts (see tip)
Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnish
3 cups chopped fresh basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/8 cup Brazil nuts
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over stretched dough/homemade pizza crust and then add sun-dried tomatoes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Slice into 8 pieces and apply pesto in a dotted pattern over finished pizza. Add roasted pine nuts evenly over pesto. Grate Pecorino Romano over entire pizza.
Chef's tip: Roasting gives pine nuts a toasty flavor, browns them and makes them firmer. It's easiest to do in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Shake the skillet frequently to ensure even browning—pine nuts are small and full of rich oil, and will burn quickly if you don't watch carefully. When the nuts are fragrant and browned, take the pan off the heat. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
Basil pesto directions
Place basil in a blender. Pour in about 1 tbsp. of the oil and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, Brazil nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups