I’ve already talked about how pizza night was a ritual in my family. Nana Lulu would make at least 5 homemade pies every Friday night and I loved it so much. When I learned how to make my own pizza dough, it was life changing. It was so simple and I won’t ever go back to store bought. That dough formed the base of this incredible sun-dried tomato arugula white pizza. It was a more modern, different interpretation of my Nana’s Friday night pie and it was so fun to make!
I baked the pizza on the very bottom rung of my super hot oven to really achieve that perfect crust. When I took it out I sprinkled the arugula on top so that it wilted right in. Then it was time to eat! Oh my goodness, my Nana would have been proud of this pizza. The crust was crispy around the edge but pillowy in the middle. It reminded me of focaccia bread. The toppings worked so well together, especially the gorgeous sauce. I hope you all love this fun recipe! xoxo
This is such an incredible sun-dried tomato arugula white pizza with simple homemade pizza dough and creamy béchamel pesto sauce!
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast 1/4 oz size
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus additional for drizzling
- 2 big pinches salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 pounds all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto sauce either homemade or jarred
- polenta for dusting the pizza stone
- 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes 10 ounce size, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup baby arugula
- First, make the dough the day before so that it has time to really rise and develop flavor. Set up a stand mixer with a dough hook and combine the warm water and yeast in its bowl. Let it sit for the yeast to activate for a couple of minutes, then add the olive oil, salt and sugar. Turn the mixer on low to start to stir those ingredients together. While it is still mixing, slowly add in the flour until you have a soft dough. Turn the speed to medium and let the dough work for 3-5 more minutes, until it starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. Bring the dough together into a ball and drizzle it generously with olive oil to coat it. Cover the bowl and set it in the refrigerator to work its magic overnight.
- The next day, set a rack on the lowest rung of the oven you have and pre-heat it to 450. Then start on the pesto bechamel. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and add the flour in with it. Whisk it together until the flour cooks off and it becomes thick and golden. While you keep whisking, slowly pour in the milk to make the white sauce. Season it with the nutmeg and salt, then let it gently bubble and cook for about 8 minutes. Whisk it occasionally to keep it smooth. Once it is thick and rich, take it off of the heat and whisk in the pesto sauce. Set it aside.
- Now it's time to assemble the pizza. Take out the dough and punch it down to deflate it. Get out a pizza stone (preferably) or large round baking tray and dust it with a little polenta. Press the dough out into an even layer on it. It should almost fill the size of the stone completely and be about an inch thick. Spread the pesto béchamel in an even layer on the dough, leaving a 1 inch border to have a crust to grab. Lay out the sun-dried tomatoes evenly on the sauce, then season it all with the garlic powder and dried parsley. Finally, sprinkle the mozzarella evenly on the very top.
- Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. The cheese should almost get brown and the crust should get crisp and golden around the edges. Take it out and evenly distribute the arugula on top. It will wilt right into the hot pizza. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut it into 8 equal pieces and serve it immediately! Enjoy!