Curtis Stone’s Great Homemade Pizza

When the craving strikes, try making your own from-scratch pie with tips from our celebrity chef.

A slice of pizza being lifted from a plate.

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If Americans could only eat one food for the rest of their lives, the No. 1 choice is pizza, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll. From New York to Chicago to California, we consume more than 3 billion pizza pies each year.

Nothing beats a fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza, and making it at home is easier than you think. The basics are simple — dough, toppings, heat. Where you go from there is up to you.

Great pizza begins with great crust. I always say fresh is best, and my dough recipe can be made in the food processor or by hand.My favorite toppings change with the seasons, but only use about three. Experiment with a blend of cheeses. While mozzarella is the classic pizza cheese, Fontina, Gruyère, and Gorgonzola are other options that melt well and deliver lots of flavor.

I consider Portobello Mushroom Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula an elevated pepperoni and mushroom pizza, but not as heavy.  There is a nice earthiness to White Pizza with Mustard Greens and Mushrooms — the slight bitterness of the mustard greens marries well with the umami of the mushrooms.

Do as the Italians do! For authenticity, I like to drizzle pizza with extra-virgin olive oil before slicing and serving.

Portobello Mushroom Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula

Home-made pizza on a plate.
Portobello Mushroom Pizza (Photo by Quentin Bacon)

(Makes 2 servings)

  • 1 10-ounce pizza dough (see recipe) or purchased
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms (2), stems and gills removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 thin slice prosciutto
  • 1 ounce baby arugula

Place large baking stone on bottom shelf in oven; preheat oven to 450˚.

To roast mushrooms: Place mushrooms on baking sheet, coat with 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake on top rack, turning mushrooms over halfway through baking, about 10 minutes or until tender. Cool and then cut mushrooms into ½-inch-wide slices. In small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon oil with  garlic.

To make the pizza: Using oven mitts, remove pizza stone from oven and set on pizza rack. Stretch dough to about an 11-inch round and lay over stone. Drizzle garlic-oil mixture over dough. Sprinkle half of each cheese over dough, and then top with mushroom slices and sprinkle remaining cheeses. Using oven mitts, return pizza stone to oven and bake pizza for about 7 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove pizza stone from oven and return it to pizza rack. Tear prosciutto into strips and arrange them on pizza, and then sprinkle arugula over pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.

Make-Ahead: The portobello mushrooms can be roasted, cooled, and sliced up to 8 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Per serving (with pizza dough)

  • Calories: 453
  • Total Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 309 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 59 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 19 g

White Pizza with Mustard Greens and Mushrooms

Home-made pizza on a wooden cutting board
White Pizza with Mustard Greens and Mushrooms (Photo by Quentin Bacon)

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 8 ounces of leaves)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 ounces part-skim milk ricotta
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 15-ounce ball pizza dough (see recipe) or purchased
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 ounces button mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Position rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 500°. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, shallots, and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Working in batches, add mustard greens and cook for about 4 minutes, or until wilted. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to plate lined with paper towels to drain. In small bowl, whisk milk and ricotta until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn 13-x-9-inch baking sheet upside down and lightly dust with flour. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Using rolling pin, roll dough over baking sheet. Spread ricotta mixture over dough. Top with mozzarella, then greens and mushrooms. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is golden. Drizzle pizza with extra-virgin olive oil, slice, and serve. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Make-Ahead: Ricotta mixture can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Greens can be cooked up to 4 hours ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated.

Per serving (with pizza dough)

  • Calories: 560
  • Total Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 388 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 49 g
  • Fiber: 3 g;
  • Protein: 22 g

Pizza Dough

(Makes 3 10-ounce dough balls or 2 15-ounce balls)

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup good-quality dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In 2-cup measuring cup, whisk warm water, wine, yeast, and honey to blend. Set aside 5 minutes, or until foamy. Mix in oil. Place flour and salt in food processor. With machine running, mix in yeast mixture (dough will be wet). Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead 3 minutes, or until it is smooth, elastic, and very tacky but releases from hands. Form into three 10-ounce or two 15-ounce balls. Place on sheet pan and dust top with flour. Cover with plastic wrap. Place dough in warm area 45 minutes, or until it rises and doubles.

Make-Ahead: Once dough balls are formed, store airtight and freeze up to 1 month. Allow extra time for dough to rise before using.

Per 10-ounce dough ball

  • Calories: 907
  • Total Fat: 48 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Sodium: 718 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 119 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 38 g

Portobello Mushroom Pizza recipe: From Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone by Curtis Stone. Copyright © by Curtis Stone with permission of Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved; White Pizza Recipe: Courtesy Curtis Stone; Pizza Dough recipe: Excerpted from The Bakeware Cookbook by Rochelle Palermo. Copyright © 2017 by Rochelle Palermo. Excerpted by permission of Rochelle Palermo and Curtis Stone. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

This article is featured in the January/February 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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