Pizza Night: Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

~ Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza ~

As the saying goes, the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. In my case, they eat pizza. I write about food and develop recipes, yet sometimes I am working so hard on a deadline I don’t have a dinner to feed my family. After a day spent in the kitchen developing a dessert, I would be remiss to feed chocolate cake to the kids for supper. I might spend an afternoon tweaking dressings, sauces and marinades, but I can not feed my family a bowl of vinaigrette. Or I may not make it to the kitchen at all, spending an entire day at the computer writing and researching recipes, only to realize that I never went to the store and the refrigerator remains neglected. As irony would have it, on days like these, once it’s dinnertime I can’t muster any excitement to make much of anything. So I make pizza.

Homemade pizza pleases everyone and is easy to make with a minimum of ingredients. When I make dough for the crust, I double the portion to freeze for emergency pizza nights. If you have a favorite store-bought crust, that’s fine too – just be sure to buy extra and pop it into the freezer. That way when Sunday night rolls around and everyone is asking what’s for dinner, the children (and adults) eat pizza.

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

The combination of salty prosciutto, creamy mozzarella and fresh arugula makes this pizza very popular in our home. Be sure not to overload the pizza with the toppings. The amounts below are approximations and will vary with the size of the crust. Makes 1 large rectangular pizza or 2 10-inch pizzas.

Pizza crust (recipe below)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2  cup tomato sauce (recipe below)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
8 slices (3 ounces) prosciutto
4 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese

Preheat oven to 500 F. Using your hands, stretch crust to desired shape and place on parchment paper. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic clove in a small bowl. Lightly brush crust with oil. Smear a thin layer of tomato sauce over the crust, leaving one inch clear around the edges. Scatter a layer of mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Top with a layer of prosciutto. Sprinkle Parmesan over the pizza. Brush the exposed edges with a little more olive oil.
Slide the parchment and pizzas onto a baking stone on lowest rack in oven. Bake until crust is beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Slide pizza out of the oven and spread arugula over the pizza. It will look like a lot, but will cook down. Return to oven and bake until crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, drizzled with olive oil.

Tomato Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce can crushed Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters. Makes 2 – 10 inch pizza crusts.

2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil

Stir yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and semolina. Mix well. Let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Combine remaining flour and salt in another bowl. Add to yeast with cold water and olive oil. Mix well to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead with hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or use a mixer with a dough hook, and knead about 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 equal disks. Let rest 30 minutes before shaping. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands, stretch the disks out to 10-inch shapes.

25 thoughts on “Pizza Night: Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza

  1. I love pizza night for all the reasons you listed above…and I also just love pizza. 🙂 Arugula and prosciutto is my husband’s all-time favorite. I recently made the dough in the March issue of Bon Appetit (the cover photo) and had friends over for a little pizza making party. Not only is it great for a busy weeknight, it can be a fun way to entertain! So versatile. I’m eager to try Alice Waters dough next.

  2. A splendid pizza! That combination is wonderful. Arugula has such a great flavor.



  3. Literally our favorite kind of pizza, except when we do prosciutto and arugula, we use a simple garlic/white wine sauce rather than the tomato sauce.

  4. This sounds like an excellent pizza. I’ve never tried arugula and prosciutto on a pizza before, but I do love all the ingredients so have no doubt I’d enjoy it. 🙂

  5. Hi Lynda
    This i a lovely classic! I tasted it for the first time in Rome, 8 months pregnant with my daughter, so it brings back sweet memories 🙂

    I would like to know how you freeze the dough? I did not think it was possible! Will the yeast survive? I use fresh yeast and not dry, will the make any difference? Do you let it unfreeze before baking it?

    Kh Johanne

    1. Johanne: I prepare the dough to the point before stretching it out to make the pizza. Form it into a ball and wrap in plastic. It freezes for up to 3 months. Allow it to defrost in the plastic in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before shaping the crust. I’ve used both fresh and dried yeast for this. – Lynda


  6. I’ve never tried this combination before, but I love everything about this pizza. For an emergency dinner, it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  7. You just cannot go wrong with this wonderful combo of flavours, Lynda. And the brown paper beneath the pizza really accentuates how rustic the flavours must be.
    I’m sure your kids wouldn’t have minded eating chocolate cake for dinner 😉

  8. Doesn’t the parchment paper burn to a crisp at 500 degrees? I recently tried this same method of pizza, but the parchment paper burned and started smoking up the oven. Do you have any suggestions for this?

    1. Emily, You can see how the parchment is charred at the side of the pizza where there was an overhang. When I’ve trimmed the parchment to the size of the pizza stone, there hasn’t been a problem. – Lynda


  9. I love your combination of flavors, and I really do need to remember to have pizza dough in the freezer at the ready. I have the same problem. It’s feast or famine here.

  10. Gorgeous pizza pie! And I love the idea of one pizza on the table and another waiting in the freezer! Beautifully done, and beautifully photographed!

  11. Beautiful! Arugula is just about my favorite thing to put on pizza–even raw, to dress up delivery pizza! Of course, it’s obviously better from scratch. 🙂

  12. Great, classic combination of flavors! I just got a pizza stone and peel last year and now I love making homemade pizza- will have to try this one. Btw, I have the same problem about getting dinner on the table when I’m busy testing recipes- how funny!

  13. Scrumptious. I get that feeling sometimes too – it’s a lot of work feeding kids even if you dedicate all your time to it! They are still eating remarkably well.

Comments are closed.