Saturday, October 31, 2015

White Pita Pizza with Garlic Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Tre Formaggi

     Gourmet Pita Pizza!  
     When pita bread first became a trendy mainstream food item in the 1970's, it did not take long for cooks to create Pita Pizzas.  Pita Pizza is a quick, easy to make snack.  All that a cook has to do is to put pizza toppings on a piece of pita bread and then bake it.
     In recent years, Pita Pizzas have gone by the wayside, just like French Bread Pizza.  Pre-made manufactured focaccia bread has recently taken the place of French Bread and pita bread for making quick pizza snacks.  Because the quality of the manufactured focaccia is low, focaccia snack pizzas are now waning in popularity too.

     Frozen pizza products have always been something that is better off left at the grocery store.  The same can be said about the new wave of assembled "heat & eat fresh pizza" products.  Once again, the biggest issue with manufactured "fresh" or frozen easy bake pizzas is quality.  Part of the reason is the list of ingredients is usually far from natural.  The biggest complaint is that the flavor of these pizza products taste like cardboard.  In fact, pizza aficionados say that the empty cardboard pizza box from a good pizzeria actually tastes better than most frozen pizzas!

     Instead of suffering through one wave of disappointing manufactured pizza products after the next, why not regress back to the good old days of homemade pizza bread snacks!  At least one can be the chef when designing a bread pizza at home.  The sky is the limit as far as creativity goes and one can gain a good sense of pride when a homemade gourmet Pita Pizza idea gets compliments from guests!  
     When designing a gourmet Pita Pizza, I usually think of a theme, then make the pieces of the puzzle fit together.   The theme for today's Pita Pizza is old schoolWhite pizza is a pizza shop menu item.  Plain white pizza is olive oil, garlic, oregano and a light sprinkle of parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  Some pizza shops use tre formaggi to make a white pizza.  Spinach and tre formaggi white pizza is one of my favorites.

     Tre Formaggi:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 medium size pita pizzas.
     Place 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely grated Parmigiana Cheese.
     Add 2 tablespoons of grated mozzarella cheese.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of whisked egg.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill the tre formaggi mixture in a refrigerator.
     Garlic Spinach: 
     This recipe yields enough for 2 medium size pita pizzas. 
     Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of minced garlic.
     Add 3 cups of baby spinach leaves.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Sauté and stir till the spinach starts to wilt.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Set the garlic spinach aside.
     White Pita Pizza with Garlic Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Tre Formaggi:
     This recipe describes assembling 1 medium size pita pizza.
     Step 1:  Place an 8" to 10" wide pita bread on a baking pan.
     Generously brush the pita bread with virgin olive oil.
     Sprinkle 2 finely chopped garlic cloves on the pita bread.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of sea salt on the pita.
     Step 2:  Evenly space 6 dollops (about 1 tablespoon each) of the tre formaggi on the pita.
     Place small mounds of the garlic spinach between the quattro formaggi.
     Place a roasted red bell pepper strip on each pile of spinach.
     Step 3:  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated mozzarella over the toppings.
     Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of grated Parmigiana Cheese over the toppings.
     Drizzle 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil over the toppings.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of oregano over the pita pizza.
     Step 4:  Bake in a 375ºF oven till the tre formaggi becomes hot and the mozzarella melts.
     Step 5:  Set the pita pizza on a cutting board and cut it into 4 pie shaped slices.
     Place the pita pizza slices on a plate and garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Viola!  This gourmet pita pizza mimics a good traditional white pizza!

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