Pizza Noci e Zucchini (Walnut Pesto and Zucchini Pizza)

  • Serves

    makes Four 10" Pizzas


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.


  • 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)


Step 1

Puree walnuts, Parmesan, 1⁄3 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.

Step 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 1⁄4" 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 1⁄8" thick; transfer to a semolina-dusted pizza peel. Spread 1⁄2 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.

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