Arugula & Pesto Pizza Recipe

An easy mid-week dinner idea from Food Network chef Giada de Laurentiis. "This delicious recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser for adults and children. Creamy ricotta cheese is the base for all the delicious flavours here, most notably smoked mozzarella, which really gives the pizza a pronounced taste and aroma. Arugula makes the ricotta mixture a nice green hue, and the sliced red tomatoes help make this pizza as beautiful as it is yummy. This is total comfort food."


Cornmeal, for dusting
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1 packed cup (1 oz.) arugula
Flour, for dusting
1 (1-lb.) ball store-bought pizza dough
Olive oil, for drizzling
2 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick


Step 1: Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Step 2: Sprinkle a heavy baking sheet (without sides) with cornmeal.

Step 3: In a food processor, blend the ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the smoked mozzarella and arugula. Pulse until just combined but still chunky.

Step 4: On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 14″ circle, 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Spread the ricotta mixture on top, leaving a 1″ border. Arrange the tomato slices on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Step 5: Bake for 15-16 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve.

See more recipes from Giada de Laurentiis.

Reprinted with permission from Giada de Laurentiis’ Weeknights With Giada (2012 Clarkson Potter).