February 26, 2021

Pizza With Pesto & Fresh Mozzarella

Recipe: Chuck Hughes

“Pizza night is always popular at my house,” says Chuck Hughes, executive chef of Garde Manger. “I have a four- and six-year-old, so when the pandemic hit, every second day was pizza night! We made it inside, outside in the rain, on a boat, and for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the kids’ version, perfected over months of delicious confinement.”


Pizza Dough

  • 4 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 8 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tspsalt
  • 2 cups warm water


  • 4 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 1⁄2 cups grated Grana Padano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 3⁄4–1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp cracked pepper


Yield: Makes 6 small pizzas

Prepare Dough

  1. In bowl, combine water, sugar and yeast and let bloom for 5 minutes. In separate bowl, add salt to flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients, until fully combined.
  2. Turn out onto work surface and knead for 5 minutes. Transfer to oiled bowl, and cover with damp rag. Let rest for 45 minutes.
  3. Turn out dough onto work surface and cut into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into ball. Transfer to refrigerator and let rest for another 25 minutes.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball to desired size and thickness. Alternately, wrap in plastic and freeze, or keep in refrigerator for a few days.

Make Pesto 

  1. In food processor, add all ingredients and pulse, until pesto is smooth purée but still grainy. Transfer to mason jar and top off with olive oil to prevent it from turning brown. Store in refrigerator.

Make Pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F or heat pizza oven. Cover each pizza dough with pesto and top with fresh mozzarella. Cook in regular oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, or in pizza oven for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally.

Chuck Hughes


House & Home January/February 2021