As I’ve mentioned before I love arugula. It’s like lettuce and pepper got together and had a baby. It’s peppery, light, and really good for you. The British call it “rocket”, and I’ll borrow that term to describe a pizza recipe that is really out of this world.
Speaking of rockets, like many kids born in the 1980s, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. I even went to Space Camp. Really. The summer before 6th grade, my parents supported my dream and sent me to the NASA Ames Space Camp in Mountain View, California for a week of training. (ok, maybe “training” isn’t the right word). There, I learned about this history of space travel, commanded a simulated shuttle mission to the International Space Station, and realized that an astronaut was probably not something I actually wanted to be. Space Camp was neat, but it was nothing like I had imagined. I also learned that that the chance of ever actually going to the moon was less likely than becoming a famous singer. And I’m tone deaf. I was also only 10, I really missed my family, and all the facilities at NASA were very cold.
Although I’ll never command a rocket ship in real life, I can whip up a delicious rocket pizza. And you can too!
- Pizza Dough (you can buy this pre-made at many grocery stores. Trader Joe’s sells it, as does Safeway)
- Pizza Sauce
- 1 Pear
- 1 Bag of Shredded Mozzarella
- 1 Pack Prosciutto
- 1 Small Hunk of Goat Cheese
- A handful of Corn Meal
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
Time: 30 Minutes
To begin, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone, put the pizza stone in the oven while the oven is preheating. This helps cook the pizza faster, and gives you a crispier crust.
While the oven is heating up, cut your pear into small slices, each about the same thickness. This will ensure uniform cooking. I used a bosc pear, but you can use whatever type you’d like.
On a flat surface, roll out your pizza dough. Use a flat surface that you can transfer the pizza to your pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a cooking sheet. Assemble the pizza on the cooking sheet, and then put that directly into the oven. I throw a handful of corn meal below the dough to prevent sticking, and easy transfer from the pizza board to the pizza stone.
You can use flour as well, but I like using cornmeal because it creates a crispier crust. Using your hands or a rolling pin (you’ll probably want to throw some flour on that rolling pin if your dough is sticky), get the dough as thin and into as round of a shape as you can.
The fun part comes up next: you get to decorate your pizza! Start with the pizza sauce:
Spread the sauce evenly over the surface of the dough:
Top with mozzarella:
Add some [ok, add a lot of] prosciutto:
Now, it’s time for the rocket:
Arrange the pears on top of the rocket:
Finally, add the goat cheese, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic:
Now is the time to transfer the pizza to the oven. If you’re using a cookie sheet, just place the sheet into a middle rack in the oven, and you’re done. If you’re transferring the pizza to a pizza stone, very carefully slide the pizza onto the stone. If the pizza sticks, use a spatula to “unstick” the dough. It should slide right onto the stone.
Set the timer for 18 minutes, and after 18 minutes, check to see if the pizza is cooked. It is if it looks something like this:
Using oven mitts, carefully remove the pizza from the oven. The edges of the pizza will be golden brown, and the rocket will be crispy.
Wait for the pizza to cool off for a few minutes. Using two spatulas, transfer the pizza to a cutting board.
Cut using a pizza cutter, serrated knife, or big chef knife and enjoy!
This makes a wonderful meal for any day of the week. Have you heard that they serve this pizza at the restaurant on the moon? That place has great food, but no atmosphere… Enjoy!