Let Happy Help You Make Yourself Some Pizza, Betch


For the past week I was home alone, and I don’t like cooking for just me. Last Friday night I grew tired of eating out of a can by myself, so I just wrote the damn book on how to make a spinach, pear, prosciutto, caramelized onion and goat cheese/fresh mozzarella pizza. With pecans! Boy is it a shame you missed it – I am sorry for you! This is the best way to spend holiday scratch-off lottery money ever.

What I did it so ridiculously easy, and no recipe exists. Now Happy is running a gotdamn exclusive with this recipe!

Here is what you do: Find a crust recipe you like and make it. Sorry, big shooter, but this part is all on you. I do not want you to buy a pre-made pizza crust. It costs more to buy pizza crusts than to make one yourself, and the packaged kind taste like hydrogenated oil, something called “datem” and the scent of laundry soap. Oh my LAW NO, you are going to do this artisanal style by hand. My only contribution to your dough decision is this: if you make it with cake flour, it will be crispy. If you use all-purpose flour it will be chewier. You decide if you feel crispy or chewy and get back to me.

OK, ready?

Take three handfuls of fresh baby spinach and wash it. If you are a person with giant hammer hands, use two handfuls. If you have little squirrel hands, obviously you will need more handfuls of spinach. The reason you are washing your bag of produce that says “pre-washed” is because farm hands don’t have stylish bathrooms with ambient lighting. Let’s always avoid an unfortunate situation by washing our food.

Whisk together half a squeezed lemon (with the whisk I told you to buy last week), a couple-three turnarounds of extra virgin olive oil, some salt, a couple shakes of dried thyme and marjoram (spinach always loves thyme and marjoram) and a teaspoon of honey. Do not care what kind of honey. Whatever kind you have. Put the spinach in a big bowl with a lid, add the marinade and shake it up. Set that aside for a few.

In a pan, caramelize some onions. That means, sauté some onions in unsalted butter until they sweat, add salt to your liking and then pour in some booze. Port, red wine, Amontillado leftover from the holidays – I don’t mind. Any of the above. Caramelize. Pepper can be involved. Set that aside.

Heat your oven to 425°. Take your dough and roll it out. Big and wide and round. Grease a ginormous pizza pan with olive oil and sprinkle some corn flour on it. Drape the dough you just rolled over your rolling pin (pretty sure most adults should have one) and escort your dough to the pan. Stretch and form your dough to the edge, evenly.

Pre-bake your crust for 6 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and top your pizza with marinated spinach, caramelized onions, one thinly sliced pear, prosciutto, crumbled goat cheese, fresh mozzarella slices and crushed pecans. If you don’t crush the pecans (squirrel hands, talking to you!), the toasty nut chunks will pert near rip the roof of your mouth to shreds. Just put the nuts in a baggie and beat them with the edge of a glass. Or use your fancy chopper. This is your big night – do what you feel.

Bake the bejeesus out of everything. Bake it until the edges of the crust are really brown. A real pizza, the right way, is – about – three steps from burning. Lower the heat to keep it from burning if need be, to make sure the liquid released from the spinach evaporates.

When you are satisfied with done-ness – let’s say 15-30 minutes – remove the pizza from the oven. I don’t know your oven, you do. Maybe it takes longer. Watch that stuff with the oven light ON!

Let the pizza cool for five and then add magic. Drizzle on some quality balsamic vinegar. To be more precise, you want balsamic glaze. Drizzle it on your pizza artistically, and then cut that mother-trucker up. Eat the loving hell out of it. Hot.

Look at that! A nice NY-style crust. The spinach did not soak through the crust, either. Everything is cooked and lovely and all you have to do is eat it. This was the most wonderful thing that happen to my Friday night in a long time, and I owe it all to Reindeer Riches. With a dime.

What did you get for your money? An out-of-the-ordinary quality pizza pie that you might not have tried. Plus, you got to tell the lady at the deli you wanted prosciutto, out loud, and with certainty in your voice. Everyone thinks you’re hot, even the lady buying sliced Jarlsberg.

spinach pizza3

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  • Mahousu

    Just wanted to point out that a salad spinner – that goofy device that makes everyone think you fell for some 1985 infomercial – is actually very useful for washing spinach, and then getting it dry enough that it doesn’t leak all over everything you cook.

    • Mojopo

      Thanks for the tip! I have one too. Prolly buried in the back of the cupboard. Going to find it…

  • Ambignostic

    I can’t get the little silver circles to scratch off.

    • Mojopo

      I blame Apple.

  • x111e7thst

    I cannot put spinach on pizza. Zia Maria would rise from the grave

  • Farb

    I can’t never make them crusts come out round. They always come out like some sort of rhomboid thing. Fact is, I suspect some of the stuff winds up in another dimension altogether. Maybe Texas.

    • Mojopo

      Dear Farb: You and me are going to do some shopping to overcome this. If that doesn’t work, we will do some couch time to discover what a rhomboid did to you when you were a beautiful child. We will win. Hit me up sometime on Twitter or FB, and we will get to the damn bottom of this nightmare.

      • Farb

        Moj, I appreciate the offer of help. But I am untech and impersonally mediated. That is, no FB and no Twitter. I don’t even post office any more. Geometry recurs in my nightmares, as do flying and floating, being late for class (a long time ago), mortar attacks. and nuclear desolation.