Brian and I love to cook, so when I was asked if I wanted to review a book on pizza I said, “Of course!”
This book was written by a monk who started making pizzas for his fellow monks as a part of Thursday night haustus. I really enjoyed reading the background of Father Dom – you get the sense of his care for others and his excitement about food. His writing style is relatable and fun to read. That makes for a good book, but a good cookbook has to have great recipes, so we decided to try one of his crust, sauce, and pizza recipes. I settled on the Spinach Pesto Pizza with pesto sauce and Italian-style crust. There were a ton of recipes that sounded really good (like the Denver Omelet pizza) that I’m sure we’ll try in the future.
The dough was easy to make, and would be a fun project to do with kids. The pesto sauce was a little bitter tasting when raw, so I was a little nervous about how this was all going to turn out. After cooking it, though, it was AMAZING. We really enjoyed it a lot (although the boys didn’t care for it) – the pesto provided a mellow flavor base and the lemon juice in it gave it a freshness. The crust was soft and chewy, and we liked it so much we decided this will be our go-to crust from now on.
If you want to make this pizza for yourself, I’m including the recipes here:
Italian Style Pizza Crust
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups room-temperature water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- olive oil
- In a medium size bowl, stir to dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in salt until dissolved.
- About 1 cup at a time, add 3 1/2 cups of all purpose lour, mixing thoroughly each time until flour is completely incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 4 minutes; dust your palms lightly with flour as needed to keep dough manageable.
- Let the dough rest on the countertop, covered with a clean, dry towel, for 5 minutes, then knead for another 3 minutes, again using small amounts of flour to keep things from getting too sticky.
- Lightly oil the surface of the dough & place in a small, clean bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in cool place for 2 hours before use, or in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Spinach Pesto Sauce
- 4 cups washed, torn spinach leaves, stems removed, well packed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
- Place 2 cups of spinach leaves, garlic, nuts, and lemon juice in a food processor container.
- Cover and puree until well blended.
- Add remaining spinach and olive oil and blend until smooth.
- Fold in Romano cheese and adjust seasoning.
Spinach Pesto Pizza
- crust (Italian style)
- 1/3 cup spinach pesto
- 2 thin slices of red onion, sections divided
- 2-3 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 oz. shredded Muenster cheese
- Using your fingertips, hand-stretch the dough to 8-10″ and place on a cornmeal-dusted pan.
- Spread pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2″ border at the edge.
- Evenly distribute mushrooms & onion over pesto, then sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake at 500 degrees on a preheated stone or pan for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
I’d give this book 4 stars. The writing is fun & the recipes are spot on. I’d give it 5 stars if there were more photos of the recipes and steps throughout the process. If you’re looking for a way to inject some creativity into your pizza, I would recommend adding this book to your collection! You can find Thursday Night Pizza on Amazon.
Note: I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions in this post are honest and my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.