Autumnal Squash Pizza

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2018 seems to be the year everyone’s looking at ways of eating well with less meat, but for serious foodies, taste and flavour are paramount – give us something that doesn’t taste good and it’s not going to happen!

This recipe for Autumnal Squash Pizza by Matthew Kenney, the world’s leading plant-based chef, has several layers to it. The recipe for pizza dough is REALLY good, and I love the butternut squash puree – that one ended up in another meal altogether for us!

Autumnal Squash Pizza with Butternut Squash Purée, Spaghetti Squash, Sage-Parsley Pesto and Almond Ricotta

Makes 1 x 60″ pizza

 

Double Zero Pizza Dough

Makes 1 x 16″ crust

  • 1⅛ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water, heated to 105°F
  • 3 cups 00 flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for
  • oiling the bowl

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the water. Add the 00 flour and mix on low for 13 minutes. Add the salt and continue mixing on low for 3 minutes. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and mix on medium low for 2 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise at room temperature, covered with a damp towel, for 40 minutes. Form the dough into a round ball. Proof the dough at room temperature, covered with a slightly damp towel, for 40 minutes. Place the rested dough in a separate, covered container or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to ferment overnight. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour at room temperature before using.

Butternut Squash Puree

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the squash and garlic together on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast the mixture until the squash is tender, about 35 minutes. Place the roasted squash, roasted garlic, and vegetable stock in a high-speed blender. Purée until very smooth. Taste, adjust seasonings, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 medium-to-large spaghetti squash
  • 12–18 sprigs thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove both ends of the squash with a chef’s knife, and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Place thyme on a baking sheet and top with the squash halves, cut-side down. Drizzle olive oil over the squash and salt liberally. Roast at 400°F until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then scrape the squash into strands with a fork. Discard the squash skins. Store squash in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Sage-Parsley Pesto

  • 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, packed
  • ⅔ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 clove black garlic, crushed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the olive oil. Pulse until the mixture forms a thick paste. Reduce processor speed to low and slowly stream in the olive oil. Add a small amount of water if the mixture gets too thick. Store in a closed container at room temperature until ready to serve.

Almond Ricotta

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almonds, soaked
  • 1 quart water
  • 3/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Blend the almonds and water in a high-speed blender. Strain the mixture to separate the almond milk from the pulp. Discard the pulp. Pour the milk into a large pot and heat to 194°F, monitoring the temperature with a thermometer. Whisk in the citric acid, lemon zest, and salt. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Pour into a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let the ricotta drain for a few hours before transferring to a sealed container.

Assembly

  • Cornmeal or 00 flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place dough on a lightly-floured work surface and use your hands to flatten and stretch the dough into a round. Starting at the center and working outward, use your fingertips to press the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Turn over and stretch the dough until it will not stretch any further, to about 16 inches in diameter, taking care to maintain the round shape. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil to prevent the dough from getting soggy once the toppings are added. Lightly sprinkle a pizza peel (or a flat baking sheet) with cornmeal or 00 flour. Spoon butternut squash purée on top of the dough, then top with spaghetti squash, almond ricotta, and sage-parsley pesto. Bake pizza until the crust is deep golden brown, about 10–15 minutes.

 Recipe extracted from Plantlab by Matthew Kenney, published by Regan Arts, RRP $69.99. Photography copyright Adrian Mueller

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