Meatball Marinara Mascarpone Pizza
Meatballs, marinara sauce, and mozzarella on top of a mascarpone-spread pizza crust.
My nephew is a typical teen who has an after school job working at a pizza joint. Except he spends his wages on truffle oil, because one of his favorite pizzas from work has truffle oil as a finish. Can you tell it's not a typical pizza joint?
Over Christmas we were fortunate to host my family of origin. My brother and his family came from Denmark, my brother flew up from Florida, and my folks made the trek from Washington, DC. We crammed a lot of food into a few days people into the kitchen and had fun. During a quiet moment I was able to sit down and page through a pizza cookbook my nephew gave to his mom. It's from his pizza joint, Gorms. Although the book is in Danish I was able to glean the gist of some of the recipes.
One ingredient I saw used struck me--mascarpone cheese. Now, I am decidedly NOT a foodie and one way that proves it is that I get mascarpone and marzipan mixed up. They are both used in things I don't typically make--desserts--and I'm not crazy about the taste of the marzipan. I did not realize that mascarpone could be used in a savory application, but after reading that cookbook I decided to get a tub and play.
Laura is more worldly about ingredients than I am, and she tells me that mascarpone is just Italian cream cheese. Well, just like crème fraîche [by the way I am copying and pasting this out of wikipedia each time I talk about crème fraîche since I don't know how to make all those characters--where was I?] Oh! Just like crème fraîche elevates a simple potato sauce better than sour cream, mascarpone gives this pizza a delightfully creamy base. Leftovers even reheat well. Try this next time you've got a hankering for a meatball pizza!
For other pizza ideas, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. It's broken down into doughs, vegetarian pizzas, savory pizzas using fruit, and meat-centric pizzas like this one. I also pin pizzas from around the web to my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board, and often share the raw footage of that night's pizza most Fridays on my FB page.
If you've never made pizza at home before, I recommend you take a peek at my Pizza Primer. It's a brain dump of everything I could think of related to enjoying homemade pizza without cursing too much in front of your children or ripping your hair out. For a photo album of pizza dough troubleshooting tips, please see my FB page. You can find my Pizza Primer here.
Meatball Marinara Mascarpone Pizza
1 pound pizza dough (please refer to my Pizza Primer for dough recipes)
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
½ cup prepared marinara sauce
8 large Italian style meatballs, cooked, cut in half
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (I use Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you've got a pizza stone just leave it in the oven all the time like I do. If not, consider asking for one and use a cookie sheet in the meantime. On an oiled piece of parchment paper, stretch the dough out into a vague circle or whatever shape is working for it today. Spread with mascarpone cheese, then with marinara sauce. Gently place meatballs, cut side down evenly across the dough. Top with shredded cheese and shake the Italian seasoning over top.
Slide the whole thing, parchment paper and all, onto the hot stone. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, then shimmy the paper out from underneath the dough and bake, directly on the stone or cookie sheet, for another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Cool a few minutes, then slice and serve.