Slicing shrimp in half lengthwise for pizza is great for two reasons: it makes it easier to nestle the shrimp into the toppings and it helps to stretch an expensive ingredient. For the prettiest presentation, arrange the shrimp with the cut side down. The recipes for the dough and roasted red pepper pesto make enough for two pizzas, so double the quantity of toppings and make two pies if you like, or save the remaining pesto and dough to make pizza later in the week.
Shrimp and Feta Pizza with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
For the pizza dough:
- 3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
For the red pepper pesto:
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) walnuts halves or pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pizza:
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise
- 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Process the dough again for 25 for 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the dough is rising, make the pesto. Using tongs or a large fork, hold 1 bell pepper at a time directly over the flame of a gas burner, or place directly on the grate. Roast, turning as needed, until blistered and charred black on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes total. (Alternatively, place the peppers under a preheated broiler, as close as possible to the heating element, and roast to char them on all sides, turning as needed.) Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and set aside to steam until cooled, about 20 minutes. Once cool, peel or rub away the charred skins, then seed the peppers and cut into chunks.
4. In a food processor or blender, combine the roasted peppers, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and olive oil. Process until smooth. Stop the machine and taste the pesto; adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, pulsing to mix. Set aside 3/4 cup (6 oz./180 g) of the pesto for the pizza. Save the rest for another use, storing it in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are using only one ball of dough, place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)
6. Place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Once the oven has reached 450°F (230°C), let the stone continue to heat for 15 to 30 minutes longer, without opening the door.
7. On a floured pizza peel, stretch or roll out the pizza dough into 2 rounds about 12-inch (30-cm) each. If the dough springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing. Leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border, spread the red pepper sauce over the dough rounds and top with the cheese and 1 tablespoon of the oregano leaves.
8. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Chop the remaining 1 Tbs. oregano leaves and toss with the shrimp. Cover the pizza with the shrimp, cut side down. Brush the outside edge of the pizza with olive oil and season the pizza lightly with salt and pepper.
9. Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through and the crust is golden brown. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan