Pizza biancaneve (snow-white pizza) because….I’ve been back for a while now and I have yet to post a new pizza recipe! I know! A little hard to believe, isn’t it? So, for my first recipe of 2020, let’s talk about this super easy, super delicious bit of Italian goodness.
When we returned to Arizona earlier this year, we ended up in Anthem, which is 34 miles north of downtown Phoenix. It is a stunningly beautiful part of the state in which to live, and we have been very happy here. But being on the very north edge of the Valley of the Sun also comes with some compromises. Many of the restaurants within reasonable driving distance are chain restaurants.
As a cook and half of a foodie couple, I prefer to frequent restaurants where the menu is made fresh, from scratch, and reflects the talents of those passionate about the food they sell and serve. These places don’t have to be fancy, expensive, or the food high-end. We just want to experience real food. And Gio’s Pizza Anthem on Anthem’s west side has become one of our favorites.
Steve and I have eaten there a couple of times. I admit I have not ventured past pizza both times, although they have a pretty extensive menu. But getting authentic New York pizza just down the road means I have trouble focusing on anything else. And the last time I was there, I had their Pizza Biancaneve. It was an “oh, my!” experience. So, you know what that means! Time to go home and try to recreate it!
Making Pizza Biancaneve
I’ve talked about white pizza several times in the past. Coming from Brazil, a white pizza always means an olive-oil-and-garlic-base instead of a tomato base. But I have found that in many American restaurants, a white pizza is one with an Alfredo sauce base. Dude, I love Alfredo sauce. But as a pizza base? It may be delicious, but that is NOT a healthy way to eat! If you eat pizza regularly, I recommend the Italian and Brazilian versions of white pizza instead.
Five ingredients. That’s it! And actually, some versions omit the ricotta, which means even fewer ingredients. But this is a garlic-forward pizza. I think the ricotta adds a creamy sweetness that really complements the garlicky tang and helps elevate the combined flavors.
I’ve gone with whole milk for both the ricotta and the mozzarella because I think it really emboldens this pizza.
Start by rolling out the dough to the size of your pizza pan. Then spread the olive oil and pressed garlic evenly onto the crust up to an inch of the edges.
Sprinkle lightly with salt. I recommend this because usually pizzas are topped with some kind of meat that adds all the salt you need and more. But since the pizza biancaneve is meatless, you want to add just a little salt for flavor. Keep in mind that the mozzarella has salt too, so don’t get carried away.
Note: I show the pizza prep in the picture above in the pan itself for size perspective. However, the pan should be preheating in the oven to ensure you get a nicely cooked bottom crust. Prep your own version on a section of parchment paper that you can then slide onto the pre-heated pizza pan when ready to bake.
Top the base with the shredded mozzarella and then drop some evenly-spaced ricotta dollops, a half-teaspoon at a time, over the top. Don’t season the ricotta. It is there to shine as its authentic self, adding a rich, creamy texture every couple of bites or so.
That’s it! You’re ready to bake!
I preheated the oven to 500° F with the pizza pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Note: I DID NOT use the convection feature specifically because I wanted the heat to be concentrated on the bottom of the oven to ensure a well-cooked bottom crust.
This is about 8 minutes into baking.
After about 15 minutes of baking, depending on your oven, you get something like this.
And your house smells like this too! I SO wish I could demonstrate that as well!
Give it about 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Five little ingredients never tasted so good! So much flavor, distinct layers, and yet it is so simple!
Garlic and olive oil are a marriage made in heaven to begin with. Add whole mozzarella and ricotta on top of a thin yet chewy crust and I’m back in New York! In just 15 minutes? Totally a winner!
- 1 pound raw pizza crust
- ½ cups whole milk ricotta
- 2 cups whole milk mozzarella
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat a pizza pan or stone on the bottom rack of the oven to 500° F. Do not use the convection feature because you want the heat to come from the bottom to properly cook the bottom crust.
- Roll out the dough to the size of the pizza pan on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Spread the olive oil and pressed garlic evenly onto the crust up to an inch of the edges.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Top the base with the shredded mozzarella and then drop some evenly-spaced unseasoned ricotta dollops, a half-teaspoon at a time, over the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the the bottom crust is lightly golden and the top of the pizza is beginning to caramelize.
- Let it set for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve.