I was inspired to make this arugula-prosciutto pizza after a wonderful dining experience that I had a couple of years ago in Paris. I had taken a trip there with my sister, where we stayed on a small street called Rue des Canettes in the 6th arrondissement.
We were coming back from a friend’s house one evening when we suddenly found ourselves ravenous and in need of a good meal. It was about 8 o’clock, which is when people start coming out for dinner in Paris, and most of the cafes were quickly filling up with people.
As we turned the corner onto our street, we saw a particularly enthusiastic group standing outside a small Italian restaurant. We later found out that this Italian place was frequented by the likes of Clint Eastwood and other celebrities, and was one of the restaurants recommended by travel guru Rick Steves.
No wonder it was so busy!
By some miracle, we got in without a reservation, welcomed in by warm Italians who spoke perfect French. That night, I enjoyed one of the best (if not the best) pizzas I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It was absolutely sensational.
You could tell that it was as authentic as pizza gets, getting baked in a wood-fired oven and made with the best of ingredients. The crust, which I’m particular about when it comes to pizza, was baked until it was crisp, yet still chewy, with gorgeous charred spots.
Oh, and the tomato sauce? Well, there was no mistaking that they used glorious San Marzano tomatoes to make their sauce.
After that experience, I became fixated on trying to recreate their pizza, which is what I attempted here with this arugula-prosciutto pizza.
The reality is, at home, I don’t have a wood-fired oven, nor do I always have the time to make a masterful marinara. Instead, when I’m craving this arugula-prosciutto pizza, I’ve found myself using a pizza stone and Mezzetta’s delicious Italian Plum Tomato Marinara to recreate my own perfect pizza at home.
I’ve talked about my love for Mezzetta marinara sauces here, but I really can’t get enough of their line of sauces. Not only do they taste authentic and flavorful, they’re made with all natural ingredients. Just tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, onions, oregano, and basil. That’s it!
It’s as close to Italy in a jar as you’re going to get, friends. I smear the stuff all over my pizza dough, top with fresh mozzarella cheese, then toss my pizza onto a hot pizza stone and bake it in a really hot oven.
When it comes out all crispy and drool worthy, I garnish with prosciutto and fresh arugula and pretend I’m back in that Italian gem of a restaurant in Paris.
- 1 pizza crust recipe, see below
- 1/4 cup Mezzetta Italian Plum Tomato Marinara
- 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- 1 cup arugula
for the crust
- 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet active dry yeast, (2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 2/3 cup warm water, 105°F - 110°F
- cornmeal, optional, for sprinkling in pan
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl) add the yeast and the warm water. Let this mixture stand still for 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Then add the olive oil and honey, giving everything a stir.
- Follow with the all-purpose flour and salt, then mix the dough on medium-low speed until a wet, sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out on a well-floured board, using a spatula to scrape the sticky dough out of the bowl. Roll the dough in the flour, slightly kneading the dough and molding it into a compact, smooth ball.
- Grease a large bowl, then transfer the dough into the bowl. Cover with a light kitchen towel or a sheet of plastic wrap. Turn on the oven's warm/hold setting for 30 seconds, then turn off the oven and place the bowl with the dough in it into the oven. Let the dough rise in this warm, draft-free environment for approximately 45 min to 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen and been removed from the oven, preheat the oven to the hottest setting (usually 525°F). If using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven to preheat as well. Grab a large sheet of parchment paper, and sprinkle cornmeal on it if you desire that cornmeal touch on your pizza crust. If you're using a baking sheet, simply forego the parchment paper and sprinkle the cornmeal directly on the baking sheet.
- Gently transfer your dough to the parchment paper (or baking sheet) and use your hands to stretch the dough out into a large circle. Take care to stretch from the center so that the edges of the pizza crust are a bit thicker than the center. Use a large spoon to scoop a thin layer of marinara (about 1/4 cup) onto the dough, leaving the rim bare. Slice the fresh mozzarella into approximately 6 slices, arranging them in a radial pattern on top of the marinara.
- Once the oven has preheated, using thick oven mitts, pull out the pizza stone and place it on a safe surface (like the stovetop). Place the pizza with the parchment paper onto the pizza stone and transfer to the bottom rack of the oven. If using a baking sheet, simply place the baking sheet on the bottom rack. Bake the pizza for approximately 2 minutes, before carefully (use oven mitts and be careful!) sliding the parchment paper out from beneath the pizza.
- Continue baking the pizza on the lower rack for another 5 minutes. Then, move the pizza (with the stone) up to a higher rack and bake for another 4 to 6 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is crispy. When ready, use two large spatulas to gently lift and transfer the pizza to a cooling rack. Garnish with the prosciutto slices and arugula.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1349