Date Night Pizza

I’m not quite sure how this happened, but last Friday night, Andy and I managed to have a nice quiet dinner at home — just the two of us — even though there were six girls under nine years old in our house as we did so. It was Dinner-and-a-Movie night — P and A were allowed to invite a few friends over for pizza, ice cream sundaes, and a screening of Despicable Me — and it was pure madness until we pressed play on the DVD player. At that point, we 2.0’ed the kids’ basic mozzarella-and-marinara pizza and made this arugula-and-ricotta version, then poured a glass of Pinot and had an actual, audible conversation.

White Pizza with Arugula

Preheat oven to 500°F. Using your fingers, flatten and “push” 1 ball of pizza dough (preferably Jim Lahey’s homemade) as thin as you can on an olive-oiled cookie sheet. Cover dough with slices of fresh mozzarella (about 1 ball) and brush exposed edge of crust with a little olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese is bubbly. (If cheese starts to bubble before crust looks done, cover center of pizza with foil.) While pizza bakes, toss together a few handfuls of arugula with 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1/3 cup olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon. Top pizza with salad and dollops of fresh ricotta. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper and a few leaves of fresh oregano if you have it.

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This looks AMAZING! And so much more “adult” than the red-and-white one the kids like to make. Maybe we’ll toss a couple of anchovies on there and really freak the kids out. 🙂 Thanks!!!!


And, as you know, you don’t HAVE to make two separate pizzas. You can split one dough down the middle and make one half the cheese-and-tomato version, and the other half arugula….

Nicole Hunn

I have a theory (which, admittedly, only holds true for children over 3 years old): Two children of the same age cancel each other out. Your 6 year old is all up in your grill? Invite another 6 year old over. And on & on like that. Nice pizza, btw. 🙂


Oh that looks yummy! Love homemade pizzas! It’s actually on our menu this week. Gonna make some more mozzarella just for the occasion. Congrats on the date night – Clever!


We made this tonight and were so pleased. You’ve made us believers in lettuce on pizza! YUM!


I make a version of this for lunch for my husband and I (we’re both lucky enough to work from home!). I crisp a whole wheat lavash and add any cheese we have around and top w/ seasoned arugula – delish! I’ve even shaved a few asparagus stalks as well, you can’t go wrong. Keep up the good work!

PS: Your newsletter sent me. Do I win the apron?

Mary Leonard

Delicious! We had this with a side of mussels steamed in diced tomatoes with chiles, thyme, hot sauce, white wine and lots of lemon squeezed over the bowl. A light and satisfying meal.


I have made this pizza twice now & it is THE best pizza I have ever had! Sooo good!! My son had a sleep over a few weeks ago and the kids made their own personal pizza’s and I made this one & a Taco pizza (which was also DELISH!) ; all of the adults LOVED it!!! Thanks for the great recipe…I also loved the pizza crust recipe…its now my fav!


Jenny, this was great. New addition to our routine. Used 3 cups whole wheat flour and it was excellent.


Made this last night— by far the stand out!
I was nervous about the homemade dough, (I followed your version of Jim Lahey’s recipe) because I wanted to make it in advance for a dinner the next day. I let it rise for the two hours, then stuck it in the freezer for the night. Took it out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the fridge all day to then throw in the oven for dinner. I was AMAZED at how well it turned out.