Pizza with Pesto, Ricotta, and Mozzarella Recipe

Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
Makes: 3 pizzas

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  • 1 recipe New York-style pizza dough or 36 ounces store-bought pizza dough

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 ounces fresh spinach leaves (about 4 loosely packed cups), tough stems removed

  • 3 ounces fresh basil leaves (about 4 loosely packed cups/2 bunches)

  • 1 minced garlic clove

  • 6 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided

  • 3 ounces toasted pine nuts

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon

  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small chunks

  • 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese


  1. At least 2 hours before baking, divide dough into three even parts, form into balls, place on a lightly floured surface, cover loosely with plastic wrap, place a towel on top of the plastic wrap to keep the edges pressed down, and allow balls to rise at room temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Add spinach, basil, and garlic to boiling water and boil until leaves are just wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to ice bath and allow to chill completely. Transfer to the center of a clean kitchen towel. Gather up towel edges to form a bundle in the center. Squeeze until you've extracted as much liquid as possible.

  3. Transfer greens to work bowl of a food processor. Add 3 ounces of parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and lemon zest. Process until a smooth puree is formed. Season to taste with salt.

  4. At least 30 minutes before ready to bake, adjust oven rack to top position and place a baking stone or steel on top. Preheat oven to highest setting (500 to 550°F).

  5. Working one pizza at a time, stretch or roll dough out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a lightly floured wooden pizza peel. Sprinkle surface evenly with 1 ounce of parmesan cheese. Dollop 4 ounces of mozzarella, 4 ounces of ricotta, and 1/3 of pesto over surface of pizza and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to pre-heated steel or stone and bake until blistered and bubbly, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven, slice into 8 slices and serve. Repeat with remaining 2 pizzas.

Special equipment

food processor

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1025 Calories
58g Fat
87g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1025
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 1692mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 87g 32%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 711mg 55%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 467mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)