Recipe | White Pizza with Arugula

Since returning from Costa Rica,  I have been dying to try and make homemade pizza in hopes of achieving something similar to El Pulpo’s pizza in Santa Teresa. I received this dough recipe from Carrie J. which she has tested several times herself and decided to use the toppings from a recipe in my Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook.  In addition to the toppings Ina Garten recommended, I also added several slices of Italian meats which I picked up from Costco including: spicy sopressata and hot salame.

The pizza’s turned out awesome and I can’t wait to make again and play with more ingredients!!!!

White Pizza with Arugula and Sopressata

Makes: Two  8″ pizzas


  • 2  teaspoons  honey
  • 1  package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces), divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
Dissolve the honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a rimless baking sheet. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the dough in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes. Bake according to recipe directions.


For the garlic oil:

  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the topping:

  • 2 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1  cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
  • 6 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled
  • Several slices of Italian meats: sopressata & salame

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil (I used much less, just enough to coat the arugula)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used much less, just enough to coat the arugula)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby arugula


Garlic oil:
Place 1/2 cup olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)
Portion the dough.
Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
Stretch the dough.
Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 1 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)
Top the dough.
Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
Make the vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add the greens.
When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.
TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.

TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.