Have you ever craved pizza and Thai carry out? At the same time?…right, me too. Whether the idea of both sounds good or bad to you, I highly recommend at least trying this recipe. I know, I know – there is a version at that chain pizza place named after a West coast state’s kitchen, but I do believe this pie is so much better. I used a pizza dough that takes about 3 seconds to make, 2 1/2 hours to fully rise and be ready to use, and can be found on Smitten Kitchen’s site.
Making the pie easier to assemble, I replace the tomato layer with a pre-made peanut sauce found at Whole Foods (365 Brand) in the Asian foods section. It’s absolutely delicious and not half bad for you. I’m sure there is a fairly easy recipe for the sauce, but since I make the pizza dough its one or the other on a work night. I dotted our pizza with finely diced red peppers, onions sautéed with some olive oil and garlic, a little diced chicken, fresh basil and red chili pepper flakes. Finish it off with a squeeze of lime and you’ll have a sweet, spicy, nutty and fresh pizza.
Thai Chicken Pizza
- 1 recipe pizza dough
- 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper (about 1/2 a medium pepper)
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (about 1 breast)
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup peanut sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (optional)
- couple shakes of red chili pepper flakes or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- squeeze of a lime (optional)
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside. Roll out pizza dough and place on pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with peanut sauce and layer with a drizzle of hoisin sauce. Top with diced chicken breast, red pepper, cooked onions and garlic mixture, and chopped basil. Sprinkle pizza with red chili pepper flakes to taste. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until crust is lightly golden. Squeeze a 1/2 lime or full lime over pizza before serving.
I’m not going to pretend as though I knew all along what was going to happen with this recipe. What I did know is I had roasted an acorn squash earlier in the week and I had frozen pizza dough lounging in the freezer. I recently discovered what appears to be fresh ricotta (whether it is I’m not sure, but it tastes awesome) at Whole Foods in their fresh cheese refrigerator section. After reading a story on CooksIllustrated.com I discovered there is a vital difference between regular grocery ricotta and homemade ricotta, so I’m hoping I found a decent variety. These ingredients were my starting point.
A day in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to defrost the dough so I ended up trying both the toaster oven and the microwave on defrost and neither really worked (the micro started to cook the dough). I was impatient; waiting a half hour just wasn’t going to happen. I basically beat the dough with a rolling-pin until it did what I wanted. Next, I put a layer of ricotta and used it as you would a pizza sauce. Most recipes call for the ricotta to be dolloped on, but I really like smoothing it onto the dough. Next was a layer of diced/mashed roasted acorn squash that had been lightly sprinkled with kosher salt. The next few ingredients I threw in because I had them. About fifteen minutes later I had a very rustic looking pizza, thus the name (and yes, I stole a piece of the crust to taste- I had to make sure it tasted and good as it looked…and it did).
YUM. It was so ooey gooey delicious that I had to make myself eat a salad to stop from eating the whole thing. I’m glad I did because now there are leftovers in my fridge (not for long!). The crust was cracking a bit and I blame the defrosting process. However, I like how it turned out going with the rustic theme and all. In every bite you get a taste of the cheese-squash-garlic-basil combination. The ingredients were so substantial they basically stood an inch high atop the crust. I have to say, it was amazing.
Rustic Squash Ricotta Pizza
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pizza crust (homemade or pick up at Trader Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 3/4 cup carmelized onions*
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons shredded basil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment (optional) and roast for 50 minutes or until just tender. Let the squash cool for 20 minutes. Dice one half of the acorn squash and mash the other half and sprinkle with kosher salt. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Roll out pizza dough. Spread top with ricotta cheese as if you were spreading pizza sauce. Layer roasted, mashed and diced acorn squash. Top with garlic, mozzarella and basil. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves 2 with a salad.
*To make carmelized onions: Slice 1 large, preferably sweet [vidalia] onion. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a small or medium skillet. Add onions and cook until light brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.