I love making pizza at home, it means I can put whatever I love on them. This Spinach, Artichoke, Bacon, and Mushroom Pizza is a huge favorite.
Last week I shared this amazing 15 Minute Beer Pizza Dough recipe and this week I’m offering up my current favorite pizza toppings. I can’t remember when pizza meant tomato sauce and sausage or pepperoni for me; I much prefer ones that don’t include red sauce at all and are topped with veggies that are my favorites and maybe some bacon. Like spinach, bacon, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and red onion to be exact!
When I posted about the dough last week, I shared this photo of the Margherita style pizza I had made that day. It was simple too; just olive oil and balsamic vinegar, Monterrey Jack cheese, basil, and pillows of cream cheese and then topped with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil when it came out of the oven. Amazingly simple and over the top good. I shared but it was hard. 🙂
If you have a pizza stone and love it, by all means use it. I had one, it cracked and I was glad to get rid of it but I wanted to mimic that great crispy crust it made. I tried using a large 12″ cast iron skillet and I honestly don’t think I will ever make pizza any other way. Not only was the crust fantastic but it’s the perfect way to serve it!
Still, this is the pizza that got this whole project going. It is my recreation (sort of) of one I get from a local Italian restaurant, Colonna’s Pizza in Parker, CO. Probably a good thing they don’t deliver to where I live or I might not have started experimenting with pizza dough to get one on the table quicker than I could make a 40 minute trip to get there, pickup and return home.
They have a special for a smaller personal pizza and it includes 5 toppings and well, you know most of what I would order but it’s a bit different from this one I’m sharing today. When I order one of their pizzas I get one with an olive oil base, cheese and then top it with spinach, artichokes, mushroom, onions, and meatballs. Yes, meatballs…they’re not just a pizza joint, they serve a wide variety of Italian dishes including spaghetti, lasagna, and calzones so meatballs are made there too.
I ordered the pizza and asked for it to not be baked and put it in the oven when I got home. OMG it was so good…and once bitten I had to do my own. But it never happened…and meatballs are why. It’s not like I always have a stash of frozen meatballs so I figured I would just wait til the day arrived that I made my favorite meatballs and I would save some for pizza. Except I hadn’t gotten around to that lately so the pizza remained solely as an idea.
Last week I punted. It’s not like I don’t love bacon so it was not a huge leap of faith. I imagine I could have made a pizza with hamburger meat but I wanted a bit more flavor than a sprinkling of ground beef. I say try them all; the beauty of making your own pizza is that you can put ANYTHING on top. Don’t like artichoke hearts? Fine…how about olives or peppers? No spinach for you…just forget it. As long as you have the basics of dough, olive oil or sauce, and cheese; anything else you imagine can be used for a pizza.
I’ve got another one coming up soon that has lobster bisque soup for the base topped with cheese, asparagus and mushrooms; all ingredients I simply spied in the fridge and put together in one place and it was SO good I want to do it again!