FNP: Bacon, Egg, and Spinach Pesto
Can you tell I decided to have a little fun with our latest Friday night pizza? I was dying to see the look on B’s face when I set it down in front of us. Lucky for me, he’s always up for my pizza experiments.
In the pizza section of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook Jamie’s Italy, there’s one that jumped out at me and inspired me to try this version: Jamie’s is a pancetta, egg and tomato pizza. I suppose it appealed to my endless love for a softly cooked, oozy egg…mmm. The egg is cracked right on top of the pizza, and bakes in the oven — which is also so hot that it crisps up the bacon nicely; no need to cook it beforehand.
For my version, I made a basic modified pesto using spinach to spread on the crust, and diced up some bacon to scatter over the top of the fresh mozzarella. Because I knew the eggs would look like two eyes, I just couldn’t resist adding a strip of bacon curving up in a smile…I kind of felt bad hacking the pizza in two! But our bellies thanked us for it — this was one of my favorite pizzas of late! It might even get a repeat performance in our kitchen, which you know is saying something.
As you might be able to see from the picture above, I overcooked my eggs a little bit — I was waiting for the crust to brown, but by the time it did, no longer did I have my softly cooked eggs. Well, the one on the right was still sort of oozy (that’s the one I ate!), but I gave the harder cooked one on the left to B. Next time I make this, I’d brush the outer crust with a little olive oil to help it brown up a little more quickly.
(You might also be able to tell that I accidentally cracked the yolk of the egg on the right, which made it look like my pizza face had a black eye…or, I guess that would be a “yellow eye.” Oh well, still tasted yummy!)
Previous Friday Night Pizzas:
Asparagus, Ricotta & Salami Pizza
Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Thyme Pizza
Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Pizza
Green Garlic Monster Pizza
Pizza with Mushrooms, Asiago, Roasted Garlic & Thyme
Pesto & Potato Pizza
Sausage & Rapini Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Fontina and Ricotta
Sausage, Red Onion & Crimini Mushroom
Southwestern Black Bean & Vegetable
Spinach and Artichoke
Bacon, Egg, Spinach and Pesto Pizza
1 ball pizza dough (about 1 lb)
3 strips good-quality bacon
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Spinach Pesto (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, preferably with a baking stone inside. Stretch out your ball of pizza dough and lay it out on a pizza peel or baking sheet that’s been generously dusted with cornmeal. Use a pastry brush (or just dab it with your fingers) to lightly coat just the outer edge of the pizza crust with olive oil.
Dice two strips of the bacon, and leave one whole. Spread a few spoonfuls of the spinach pesto over the crust, and top with a handful of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and the fresh mozzarella. Scatter the diced bacon over the cheese, then lay the third strip of bacon down so it looks like a smile. Finally, crack two eggs onto the top of the pizza where the “eyes” would be, being careful not to crack the yolks.
Bake the pizza until the cheese is melted, the eggs are softly set, and the crust is browned, about 8 minutes.
Spinach Pesto (makes enough for a pizza plus a good amount leftover for another use)
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 cup (or more) extra-virgin olive oil (I start with half a cup and keep drizzling in more until it’s the consistency I like.)
Place the spinach, garlic, and grated cheese in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blitz until pureed, then while the motor is running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil. If you like your pesto runnier, continue adding a bit more olive oil until you have the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon onto a pizza, over pasta, onto fish, over chicken, etc. This is one sauce I like to keep around for lots of different uses!