Pete's White Pizza

Pete Category Cheese 
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Ingredients And Procedures

For Toppings: 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup red wine

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 head garlic

3/4 cup pine nuts -- toasted

1/2 pound Fontina cheese -- sliced

For Dough: 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 package yeast

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup warm water (110-115 F)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

For Pesto: 2 cups firmly packed chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic -- chopped

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup olive oil

Prepare Toppings: Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Put back in the bowl and add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and let sit, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour.

Wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil and roast in oven at 400F for about 30 minutes. Leave garlic in foil and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. When cool, carefully peel cloves and slice into halves or thirds, and set aside.

Make dough: In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the sugar, yeast, cornmeal, salt, and 1 cup of the flour, and mix for 15 seconds on a medium-low speed. While dry ingredients are mixing, combine water and oil. While motor continues to run, slowly add liquid ingredients in a steady stream. Then add remaining 2/3 cup flour in 1/3-cup incremenmts, and mix until stiff dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl. Knead for 2 minutes more. Put dough in a deep and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

While dough is rising, make the pesto: Put garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and process until coarsely chopped and well mixed. Add basil and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the oilve oil and pulse until a thick paste forms. Add half of the remaining oil and process for about 10 seconds until all basil is chopped fine but not pureed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil.

Assembly: Preheat oven and baking stone to 450F. When the dough is ready, punch it down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thin disk about 16-18 inches in diameter. Fold the outer edge in about 1/2 an inch and pinch down to seal. Spread pesto evenly over crust. Space sun-dried tomatoes evenly across the crust, skin side up. Sprinkle pine nuts and roasted garlic slices evenly over pizza, then top with Fontina slices, spaced evenly. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on the baking stone. Carefully transfer the pizza to the baking stone and reduce heat to 400F. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serves 4 as an entree.

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