Pizza Noci e Zucchini (Walnut Pesto and Zucchini Pizza)

Walnut Pesto and Zucchini Pizza (Pizza Noci e Zucchini)
Walnut Pesto and Zucchini Pizza (Pizza Noci e Zucchini)
Creamy walnut sauce is paired with golden pan-fried zucchini and smoked mozzarella on this Neapolitan-style pizza.Todd Coleman

Creamy walnut sauce is paired with golden pan-fried zucchini and smoked mozzarella on this Neapolitan pizza. This recipe first appeared in our May 2013 issue with Keith Pandolfi's article The Gold of Naples.

Pizza Noci e Zucchini (Walnut Pesto and Zucchini Pizza)
Creamy walnut sauce is paired with golden pan-fried zucchini and smoked mozzarella in this Neapolitan pizza recipe.
Yield: makes Four 10" Pizzas

Ingredients

  • 1 12 cups walnut halves
  • 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus more
  • 13 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe Naples-style pizza dough
  • Fine semolina, for dusting
  • 1 lb. smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 squash blossoms (optional)

Instructions

  1. Puree walnuts, Parmesan, 13 cup oil, cream, and salt in a food processor until smooth. Heat remaining oil, plus chile flakes in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and salt; cook until golden, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Place a pizza stone under the broiler; heat for 30 minutes. Working in 4 batches, dust 1 ball dough with semolina. Using your fingertips, press dough into a 10" circle about 14" thick, leaving a 1" crust around the edges. Hold dough straight up, and with fingertips circling crust, slide fingers around crust in a circular motion as you would turn a steering wheel until dough in the center is stretched to about 18" thick; transfer to a semolina-dusted pizza peel. Spread 12 cup walnut sauce over dough and distribute a quarter each of the zucchini, cheese, basil leaves, and squash blossoms, if using; drizzle with oil. Slide pizza onto stone; bake until cheese melts and crust is puffed and charred in spots, 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.