• Wines & Vines

Crimini Mushroom and Ricotta pizza Paired with Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon – Loire Valley, France

Updated: Jan 2


Who said making your own home-made pizza is complicated?


There is something about making pizza at home that I find very satisfying and intriguing at the same time, but what brings the most fun is making pizza with family and friends, or just sharing your own experience with foodies.


When pizza comes to mind, we often think of Naples, Italy and the “Pizza Napoletana”, which has thin crust topped with tomato and mozzarella cheese, but if we add few fresh basil leaves, we turn it into a “Pizza Margherita” and we celebrate the colors of the Italian flag along the way. While this remains a classic, pizza has evolved into myriads of versions and ways of making it; in fact countries around the world have created their own versions of pizza, by adding a cultural twist, typical to the specific country, and its most celebrated ingredients.


The following recipe is one of my favorite pizzas. It is super easy and fun to make with only three simple toppings, which integrate perfectly on a thin crust, topped with fresh baby arugula and paired with a light red from Loire.


Crimini Mushroom, Ricotta and Baby Arugula Pizza


Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4

Recipe created by: Elissar Kurban


Ingredients:

● 1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature (you can buy it, or simply make your own)

● Cornmeal, for the baking sheets ( optional)

● A drizzle of Cognac ( optional)

● 1 pound Asparagus, halved lengthwise

● 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

● 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

● 1 ½ cup ricotta cheese

● ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

● 3 tablespoons olive oil

● 3 tablespoons butter

● Salt & pepper to taste

● 2 cups baby arugula

● 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice



Instructions:

Heat oven to 400 F degrees – shape the dough and place on a cornmeal- dusted, or olive oil-drizzled baking sheet.


Saute’ mushrooms with butter until golden and tender, add garlic and stir together for a couple of minutes, add salt & pepper - finish with a drizzle of cognac - keep aside.


In the same pan, saute’ asparagus for a couple of minutes and set aside


Top the dough with mushrooms, garlic and asparagus, spread ricotta evenly, one spoon each side, sprinkle with parmesan and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with fresh ground pepper.


Bake until the crust is golden brown and crisp – 25-30 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the arugula with a drizzle of lemon juice, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Top the pizza with arugula just before serving.


Tip: dusting the baking pan with cornmeal or olive oil will keep the pizza dough from sticking.



Wine Pairing:

2017 - Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon – (Loire Valley, France)


“Cabernet Franc” is an easy-going grape that has proven to produce good quality wines in various climates. It is widely planted around the world and as a result, Cabernet Franc is produced in diversified styles and qualities.


France is the largest producer of Cabernet Franc. While typically used as a blending companion to create some of the great collectable wines of Bordeaux. This grape is widely planted in the Loire Valley and is produced as a single varietal, specifically in Chinon, to the south of the Loire, where red and rose’ wines are almost exclusively made from Cabernet Franc.


Due to its subtle characteristics and notable peppery flavors, Cabernet Franc pairs well with vegetarian dishes, fresh herbs, and soft cheeses.


Tasting Notes:

This wine is dry, has medium to medium plus tannin, medium to high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol, has concentrated flavors and aromas of red fruits, roasted pepper and subtle chili pepper; it has a good finish with layers of herbal notes.


Enjoy!

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