Frying-Pan Pizza with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Bacon, Salted Ricotta, Basil & Oregano
Friday evening, home late, tired-out and hungry... isn't starting your weekend supposed to be more of a treat than that? Well, actually... yes it is! So I decided to get smart, take it easy and yes, to make myself to a treat!
Grabbing my trusty frying-pan, a roll of pre-made pizza dough and just a few simple ingredients, I had this amazing pizza put together in less time than it would have taken me to choose, call for and have a pizza delivered- and even had fun whilst doing it!
How would you like a slice of this? So tasty, with zucchini, bacon and tomato, but not needing any sauce and plenty different to the usual pizza toppings... it is always cool to try something new, isn't it? Especially when you make it yourself- that's the best way to get is just the way you like it!
Which leads me nicely to my ingredients! Contrary to most peoples preference when it comes to pizza- I really do not like having a load of gooey melted cheese on mine... hate me if you must! So for mine, I needed a zucchini- a round one in this case, although any will do... a good handful of finely chopped bacon, around 20 wonderfully small cherry tomatoes, plenty of basil, some grated, salted Ricotta cheese, some dried oregano and some good olive oil.
Obviously, you can and SHOULD be free to use other cheeses that you may prefer and MORE cheese than I did if you prefer, but let me just show you how I made mine and then go ahead and have fun making your own... that is the whole point of me sharing with you! What I am hoping for is to encourage people to do something for themselves!
So, the first thing to do is to coarsely grate the zucchini and to halve the cherry tomatoes- or cut them into quarters if they are a bit on the larger side.
Briefly toss the bacon and the zucchini together in a dry pan, adding plenty of pepper, for 3-4 minutes to get them both half-cooked. That way you get lots of flavor into the zucchini from the salty bacon and you also get the zucchini to sweat-out some of its juices.
Set the zucchini and bacon to one side to cool and rinse out your pan- and whilst they cool off, cut your pizza dough to size and lay it out in the pan- no need to add any oil at all.
First, lay out some basil leaves, plucked in half if they happen to be very large, then spread out the cool zucchini and bacon evenly on top. It's a good idea to wring the zucchini out and pour off any extra juices so as to not make the dough soggy.
Sprinkle with the grated Ricotta and lay out the tomatoes with the cut surface pointing up. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt as this will help them a.) be more flavorful of course and b.) cook more quickly and also not give off moisture into the dough which would make the pizza soggy.
Add more grated ricotta, sprinkle with pepper and fold-over the outer edge of the pizza to make it thicker and yummier. Add a last little bit of pepper, a light drizzle of olive oil and then put the pan onto your stove top for 3-4 minutes to start baking from beneath in the pan, before you pop it into your pre-heated oven to finish baking...
Bake at your very highest setting for between 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets... mine took just 5-6 minutes to get this lovely and golden brown. Once the cheese has melted, fetch the pizza back out and sprinkle it generously with dried oregano... don't add it right from the beginning as it will otherwise simply burn- this way, it will soak up the juices from the topping and impart its own wonderful flavor to the rest!
Oh yes... that is MY kinda pizza!
The cool thing about this is that the zucchini basically takes the place of the sauce that you would usually have- and that the tomatoes take the place of the topping! The bacon makes sure that everything is packed with flavor- and the oregano and basil add more depth of flavor still... all good, simple stuff... and tasty too!
A nice crisp base and a nice, juicy topping- what's not to love about that? What an awesome snack!
Dare to be different- 'cause doesn't that just look lovely?
Who says you need a special pizza oven, pizza stone or any other contraption? All you need is to use your head... and a frying pan!
I would say that this is just about as good as it gets! And after trying it- I am guessing you will agree with me too! Enjoy!