Arugula, Chile and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza
|Garlic, red onions and plenty of hot green chilies make for a spicy pizza charged with feisty flavors.|
|Don't relegate sun-dried tomatoes to 80's dining nostalgia; they've been around forever in Mediterranean cuisine.|
|Outside of mid-late Summer, the best option when purchasing fresh tomatoes seems to be choosing grape or cherry varieties. They're less likely to be mealy and generally have a more pronounced flavor than the larger anemic ones in the produce aisle.|
|Cafe Drake HRV loosely adapted this recipe from Linda Fraser's Vegetarian: The Best Ever Recipe Collection. The original called for spinach and cheddar cheese but we prefer our substitutions of arugula and smoked mozzarella.|
|The arugula, onions and tomatoes are spread out on a partially baked, hand-thrown pizza crust.|
|Straight out of the oven, our pizza has perfectly browned and crispy edges.|
|Dinner at Cafe Drake HRV: two wedges of pizza with a chopped salad (lettuce, cukes, radishes and onions) and our omnipresent roasted vegetables.|
First things first: bring 1 package fresh pizza dough to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and roll out to your desired shape and thickness. Place on an oiled baking sheet.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 onion (diced), 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) and 2 fresh red or green hot chilies (chopped finely). Saute gently for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned.
Add about 10 roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes along with 1 14-oz. can of chopped tomatoes and 1 T. tomato paste. Season boldly with salt and black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. If the resulting sauce becomes too thick add a tablespoon or two of water, no more.
Now add to the tomato mixture 2 large handfuls of chopped arugula. Cook until the arugula has wilted completely, a matter of only a couple of minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and while the tomato and arugula sauce cools, bake your rolled-out pizza dough for 7 minutes in a pre-heated 425 degree F. oven. If you are using any other sort of base for the pizza other than the fresh dough, you can skip this step.
After 7 minutes remove the pizza dough from the oven and top with the sauce.
Sprinkle over the sauce and crust 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Sparsely and strategically top with slices of fresh smoked mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and browned on the edges and the cheese melted.
Allow the hot pizza to rest for a couple of minutes before serving with a drizzle of your best olive oil.