I am so excited to be participating this year in the 2013 Galbani® Caprese Challenge. For my entry I have created this Caprese pizza. Pizza just got a lot more exciting with this delicious Italian, Caprese-inspired twist. As if pizza wasn’t already good enough, adding in Galbani Mozzarella Fresca, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil makes a pizza go from ordinary to extraordinary. I made this for my birthday dinner as I wanted something exciting and new. Birthdays only come once a year so we need to make them special, right? Unlike my birthday, this Four Cheese Caprese Pizza is going to come much more than once a year. This will likely be my go-to summer pizza. It’s loaded with cheese and baked to perfection, then removed from the oven and covered with deliciously ripe tomato slices and a generous amount of fresh basil leaves (I chose to add both ingredients on after baking to keep it more traditionally Caprese-like, and it is so good this way). Then, if you prefer, you can drizzle the top with a simply prepared balsamic reduction. Yes, this pizza has Caprese written all over it. It also gets an added bonus with the addition of three other cheeses (as the traditional Caprese salad only has mozzarella). If I’m going to leave out the sauce on my pizza I need to make up for it somehow, and an abundance of cheese will definitely do the trick.
I’m obsessed with cheese. I know a good cheese when I taste it, and I’m telling you Galbani Mozzarella Fresca, in my honest opinion, is completely and utterly delicious. It is pure bliss in cheese form, and it’s also the key ingredient to this pizza. It wouldn’t be a Caprese pizza without it. The freshness it brings to this pizza, along with its deliciously smooth and creamy texture, simply cannot be duplicated by anything else.
Galbani Mozzarella Fresca is crafted here in the United States using Egidio Galbani’s original secret family recipe. Made in the fior di latte tradition from cow’s milk, their fresh mozzarella is gently stretched and kneaded through the Italian process known as pasta filata. This produces the uniquely soft, moist texture and mild, delicate taste Galbani Mozzarella Fresca is known for, as well as the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness few can resist. It was recently selected by the editors of Saveur Magazine as one of their favorite fresh mozzarellas. You can find this delicious cheese in the specialty cheese section. Check out the store locator at GalbaniCheese.com to find the grocery store nearest you. Also, you can vote for your favorite recipe in the Caprese challenge for a chance to win daily prizes.
If you are a grilled pizza lover, like me, this recipe could most definitely be adapted to make individual grilled pizzas. If you want to beat the heat and stay inside, then definitely go with this oven baked version. Whichever method you choose to cook this pizza, just be sure to try it at least once this summer (then you’ll likely fall in love like me and want to make it time and time again). Also, you can definitely roll the crust to your preferred thickness, just be sure to give the crust a rimmed edge so those delicious cheeses stay where they should and don’t end up draped along your oven racks. Enjoy!
Before baking, your pizza should look something like this cheesy goodness…
- 1 homemade or store-bought pizza dough (14 - 16 oz)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 oz Galbani® Mozzarella Fresca™, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 oz shredded Asiago cheese (1/2 cup)
- 2 oz finely shredded Romano cheese (2/3 cup)
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- 9 oz Campari or Roma tomatoes, sliced (about 5 Campari or 2 large Roma)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar, optional
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat 30 minutes. If using refrigerated pizza dough, remove dough from refrigerator and allow dough to come to room temperature while pizza stone preheats.
- Roll pizza dough out into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, while making a thicker crust along edges of pizza. In a small mixing bowl, stir together olive oil and minced garlic. Brush olive oil evenly over top of crust and season crust with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop small pieces of ricotta cheese over crust, then sprinkle top evenly with Galbani Mozzarella Fresca, Asiago and Romano cheeses. Sprinkle top lightly with red pepper flakes if desired. Slide a pizza peel underneath pizza and parchment and transfer pizza to the pizza stone in preheated oven. Bake 8 - 12 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately top with tomato slices. Sprinkle basil over top and drizzle with balsamic reduction if desired. Cut pizza into slices and serve warm.
- For the optional Balsamic Reduction:
- Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat slightly and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced by 2/3 (to 3 1/2 Tbsp).