A good university friend (now cousin-in-law) and I used to make this frequently in our undergrad days. She was home over the holidays, and so we decided to indulge our taste-buds, and revisit the good old days (when it was a lot easier to keep weight off than it is now!)
This recipe has the potential to be excessively calorie rich and very heavy. I remember making authentic Alfredo sauce for a seafood pasta dish that I was serving for a romantic dinner with my husband (then boyfriend). We put in a movie after eating (with no real intention of actually watching the movie)…and immediately fell into deep slumber, our stomachs working overtime to process the richness of our meal.
For the “Alfredo” sauce in this pizza recipe, instead of reducing heavy cream with equal parts cheese, I make a white sauce using whole milk and reduce the amount of cheese used, which makes this easier on the stomach and waist-line. The herbs and spice also alters the flavour, so this is very different from a proper Alfredo sauce, but still good in its own right. I really need to stop calling this Alfredo pizza, but that is how my college friend and I remember it as (I think the original recipe DID use a proper Alfredo sauce, but I altered it quite a bit), and so that is probably how it will always be known to us.
As always, quantities are approximate.
Ingredients (should serve at least 4-6 people, I think)
1 recipe for your favourite pizza dough (to make 1 large-size crust)
2-3 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp white flour
1- 1½ cup milk (homogenized preferably)
1/2 -¾ cup grated parmesan cheese- more or less according to your preference
2 minced cloves garlic
½ tsp marjoram
pinch of cloves and/or nutmeg and/or black pepper (I use all 3, but when you’re cooking it’s up to you)*
½ package chopped, frozen spinach (thawed)
chopped or sliced onion and/or mushrooms and/or peppers and/or olives and/or tomatoes and/or garlic
½ – 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Make your thick/thin crust whole-wheat/all purpose flour/gluten-free/etc pizza dough, let rise, and all that jazz.
Preheat oven to 425’C (or use whatever temperature your crust recipe requires. I opt for very high temperature and quick baking time when it comes to pizza crust).
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook while whisking for 1 minute. Add milk gradually, whisking to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened.
Add parmesan cheese, garlic, marjoram, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper to the white sauce. Stir until smooth and thick, then add the spinach. Remove from heat.
Roll out pizza dough, and spread the spinach “alfredo” sauce over dough as you would tomato sauce if making a regular pizza. Put on only as much as you want/need. If you have more than you want, serve the rest over pasta for next days dinner, or serve with sliced baguette as a warm spread while the pizza cooks.
Scatter the chopped vegetables over top, and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake in preheated over for about 12-15 minutes (or for however long your crust recipe suggests, but again, I suggest high baking temp and short baking time). I like to use the broiler for the last minute of baking, so the cheese is deliciously golden and bubbly.
Serve with a crisp green salad and nice white wine.
*I think dill weed (dried or fresh) would be lovely in lieu of the other seasonings