I read in a Martha Stewart Home Living issue that cast iron skillets are the perfect medium for making pizzas at home. Now even though I am a pizza fanatic, I never really thought about making my own pizzas until I read her article and then discovered that my local grocery store sells pizza dough. So I picked up some dough and decided that homemade pizzas had to happen. I may not have a pizza stone or even a pizza roller but I had a skillet and pre-made dough so I was set!
But then I kind of forgot about the dough and realized it's expiration date was approaching right before a snow storm. I didn't have time to run out and get what I needed to make my favorite kind of pizza (margherita) so I decided to just use what I had on hand. I discovered some store bought pesto right next to a bag of shredded mozzarella. Seemed pretty legit. But what would I top it with? I opened the freezer hoping to find some chicken or sausage but all I had was shrimp. When I thought about shrimp and pesto, it sounded good to me so I got busy. The results?? Well you see the picture! It was so simple and delicious, yet unique. Plus I got lots of assistance from the grocery store so this pizza came together in minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal! Do try this!
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1lb store bought pizza dough
3 heaping tablespoons store bought pesto
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined (if large, give them a rough chop)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and sautéing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Special Tool: Cast Iron Skillet
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Once oven is hot, place your cast iron skillet in the oven to warm up (this step is optional but will help create a crispy crust) While skillet is heating, sprinkle shrimp with salt and fresh cracked black pepper and, in a small sautéed pan, cook shrimp in a tablespoon of olive oil for just a few minutes on each side (barely cooked through). Remove from heat and set aside.
Then, on a cutting board, roll out your dough into a circle about the same size as your skillet. You can use a rolling pin if you have one. I didn't so I used my fists to press it out.
Right when you're ready to assemble your pizza, remove the hot skillet from the oven (using a pot holder of course). Brush the pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil, and place the dough into the pan, pressing it out to the edges of the pan if necessary.
Then use the back of a spoon to spread the pesto onto the dough leaving about an inch around the edges for the crust. Next, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pesto, but don't get heavy handed. You want a thin layer of cheese and you even want to see some of the pesto peeking through. Next arrange the cooked shrimp over the cheese in an even layer and sprinkle red pepper flakes over the entire pizza. Brush the crust with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, place the pizza into the oven and bake for 20 mins.
Remove the pizza from the oven and, using a spatula and tongs, gently move the pizza from the skillet to a cutting board. Immediately cut the pizza into 8 slices using a pizza roller or sharp knife and serve!