April 25, 2019

Grape Tomato And Ricotta Cream Roman-Style Pizza

Recipe: Peter Reinhart

Try this Grape Tomato And Ricotta Cream Roman-Style Pizza recipe from the cookbook Perfect Pan Pizza by Peter Reinhart.

Perfect Pan Pizza by Peter ReinhartOne of the charming qualities of many Roman-style pizzas is that they can be topped after they come out of the oven and can be served both hot or cold. They not only taste fresh, like a crisp garden salad, but with their bright, verdant colors, they also are pleasing to the eye. This pizza takes advantage of the refreshing flavor contrast created by the cooked tomatoes and melted cheese and the topping of freshly dressed greens and soft ricotta cream. The dressed greens and cream provide a pleasant counterpoint to the cooked ingredients, and as noted throughout, all of this flavor and textural contrast is just a bonus when it comes with a memorable crust. I think these qualities — the freshness, the bursts of flavor and the lightness of the crust — are why Roman-style pizzas are going to increase in popularity over the next few years.

*Note: The ricotta cream is extremely easy to make. It can be made in advance and used as a garnish on all your salads and vegetable dishes. Imagine it on baked potatoes. Amazing!


Ricotta Cream

  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, sour cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed


  • 5 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 28 ounces (794 g) of any Master Dough (pages 27 to 35)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped baby arugula or baby kale
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated mozzarella, provolone, or fontina cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese


Yield: Makes one 12 by 17-inch pizza

Ricotta Cream

  1. Combine the ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk together vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. (Note: You can also blend the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until thickened and smooth.) This cream will keep in a covered container for at least 7 days in the refrigerator.


  1. At least 4 hours before you plan to bake the pizza, line a 12 by 17-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and then oil the pan, including the interior sides, with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Begin panning and dimpling the dough, at 20-minute intervals, as shown on page 13. After three to four rounds of dimpling and resting, the dough will have relaxed enough to cover the whole pan. At this point, coat the dough with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 3 hours. The dough will rise to slightly below the rim of the pan.
  2. While the dough is rising, toss the baby arugula with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Twenty minutes before the pizza is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F (450°F for convection). Top the dough with the grated mozzarella and cover the cheese with a single layer of tomatoes.
  4. Bake the pizza on the middle shelf of the oven for 7 minutes. Then rotate the pan and continue baking 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the top and the undercrust are both golden brown, the cheese is melted, and bubbly and the tomatoes are slightly charred.
  5. Transfer the baked pizza to the stovetop or to a heatproof counter and let cool for 2 minutes. Using an offset spatula or bench blade, carefully slide it around the edge, between the crust and the side of the pan, and then lift the pizza out of the pan and slide it onto a cutting board. Cover the baked pizza with the dressed arugula and then top the greens with dollops of the ricotta cream. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan or other dried cheese. Allow 2 minutes for the greens to slightly wilt and the ricotta cream to warm. Then cut with kitchen scissors or a knife and serve.

Excerpted from Perfect Pan Pizza: Square Pies to Make at Home from Roman, Sicilian, and Detroit, to Grandma Pies and Focaccia by Peter Reinhart. Copyright © 2019 by Peter Reinhart. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Johnny Autry. Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.