Pizza with Pancetta and Spinach
Some of my favorite memories of Italy involve pizza, and since one of those trips was my honeymoon, that’s really saying something. One of my least favorite things about American pizza is that it often has a thick, sweet tomato sauce. Italian pizza sauce is very thin, tart, and has a bright tomato flavor. I’ve tried to replicate it at home, but there is just no substitute for it. I use the same sauce that I use as a base for pasta sauces. I have included a link to an easy pizza dough recipe, but there is really no need to make it yourself unless you want to. Making pizza dough is a great activity for kids on a rainy day, but if you just want something quick, we love Trader Joe’s pizza dough. You can even buy it in whole wheat!
- 1 prepared pizza dough ball, Giada’s Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 T. cornmeal
- 1 t. olive oil
- 8 oz. pancetta, chopped (substitute bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
- 1 small red onion, sliced in rings
- 2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3/4 C. plain tomato sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare the dough by rolling it out to the shape of the pizza that you want. I don’t have a pizza pan, so I just use my rectangular baking sheets. Sprinkle the cornmeal in the bottom of the pan and lay the dough over that, stretching it as much as you are able to into the corners of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the sauce and toppings. For the sauce, simply combine the tomato sauce with the garlic and a little salt and pepper. There is no need to cook the sauce. Spread it over the pizza evenly. In a skillet, heat the olive oil to medium and add the pancetta and red onion rings. Cook until the pancetta is just beginning to crisp and the onions are softening.
Remove from the heat and toss the spinach in the pan with the pancetta and onions. Evenly distribute the toppings over the pizza. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust in golden and cheese is bubbling.