Looking back at my previous recipes, there was one glaring omission; I have never made a pizza! Comfort food at it’s finest, cheesy goodness stacked on carbs, what have I been thinking?! One of the reasons I love pizza so much, is because of all the variations out there. You can really go to town, get the creative juices flowing and experiment with all kinds of toppings. For my first pizza on Slow The Cook Down, I’ve gone for a white pizza and some salty and sweet toppings.
Pear and stilton are some of my favourite flavours together, I love the sweet graininess of pears that cut through the strong flavours of a ripe stilton. I’ve been playing around with these flavours for a while, but wanted to have something a bit less pungent for my pizza topping. Cambozola is the perfect cheese for this recipe, it has a much more subtle blue cheese flavour and it’s creaminess feels truly decadent. If you can’t find cambozola, gorgonzola is a good substitute. The pancetta on the pizza gives an additional crunch texture and a good hit of salt to balance out the sweetness of the pears.
For this combination of toppings, I felt that a tomato sauce base would just be a bit too overpowering, a flavour too far, so I went with a white pizza sauce for the base. The herby, cheesy sauce is much more subtle than your usual tomato sauce, although, still tangy, and if I’m honest I will always go for a white pizza if I have the chance!
I went with a non yeast pizza dough for this recipe, just to cut down on a bit of cooking time, altogether, this white pizza took me about 1hour to put together and there really is nothing technically difficult here. I recommend you cook extra white sauce that you can freeze for use next time, and this will cut the cooking time down to about 30minutes! Convenience food at it’s tastiest!
For some classic pizza flavours, check out my Pizza Stuffed Bread!
A white pizza with perfectly balanced flavours
- 50 g salted butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 white onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove finely diced
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 150 ml semi-skimmed milk
- black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Italian herbs
- 25 g grated parmesan
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 170 ml water
- 2 ripe pears thinly sliced
- 100 g sliced pancetta
- 75 g cambozola
Make the white sauce first, by melting the butter and oil together in a pan over a low heat. Once melted, add in the finely diced onion and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onions start to soften. A tablespoon at a time, whisk in the plain flour to make a thick paste. Heat through for 3-4 minutes so that the flour cooks in. Slowly add the milk while whisking to form a thick sauce. Whisk in a generous pinch of black pepper, the Italian herbs and parmesan. Keep on the heat and whisk until the cheese has melted and leave to one side to cool.
In a large bowl, prepare the pizza dough. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add in the olive oil and water and combine together to make the dough and give it a good knead - add more water or flour if needed. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a large circle, about 1cm thick.
Pre-heat the oven to 220ºc.
Line a large baking tray with some parchment and lay the pizza dough on top. Evenly spread the white sauce over the dough. Place over the thinly sliced pears, pancetta and top with cubes of the cambozola.
Place in the oven for 15-20minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has started to bubble.