Sunday, October 17, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza with Clam Sauce

being creative with pizza is so easy, it's downright difficult. you can pretty much put anything on top of dough and call it a pizza. so with a challenge like putting your own spin on a pizza, the possibilities are quite literally endless.
i have posted many a pizza creation right here. in fact, E and i have pizza night regularly. this usually consists of 2 rolled out pizza doughs, mine topped with anything and everything i find in the fridge, and his topped with cheese and pepperoni. i have made mexican pizza, bbq chicken pizza, spinach and mushroom pizza, portabella, bacon, and tomato pizza, and grueyere, fig, and balsamic pizza just to name a few. but my husband, E, is a traditional man. he likes meat and cheese. so this time, i decided to make a non-traditional pizza E would like.
a new idea began to form. one of E's favorite dishes is linguine with white clam sauce. he could eat that once a week, easily. i figured, why couldn't i put white clam sauce on a pizza?
not sure quite how this pizza would turn out, i dove right in. i started by making whole wheat pizza dough. i happen to like the hearty nuttiness the crust gets from the whole wheat pastry flour. i waited patiently for the dough to rise. after 2 hours, the dough had doubled in size. i cut it into 3 sections and let those rise for an hour more while i started making the clam sauce.
my basic white clam sauce starts with butter, olive oil, and lots of garlic. i am of the opinion, that there is no such thing as too much garlic. clam sauce is not the place to skimp on this fragrant plant bulb! next comes a hearty splash of white wine and reserved clam juice. chopped clams lend a meaty, briny flavor while the final touch of cream is the perfect finish to bring the sauce together.
i spread a generous helping of the sauce over the rolled out pizza dough and sprinkled shredded parmesan cheese over the whole pie. after a quick, hot stint in the oven, the pizza came out, bubbly and smelling of garlic and cheese. i chopped some fresh parsley and sprinkled it over the top just as i would a steaming plate of linguine.
any skepticism or doubt about how this pizza creation would taste disappeared with one bite. the creamy, cheesy clam sauce had a garlic bite and the crust paired perfectly just as pasta would. it wasn't merely a vehicle for the clams but also gave just enough flavor and the ideal combination of crunchiness and chewiness that i love in pizza crust. as for E, i may not have converted him to specality pizzas all the time, but this pizza with clam sauce will now be in his rotation of requests. he enjoyed it just as much as his beloved linguine, if not even a little more.
as far as i am concerned, no dinner is complete without a little bit of chocolate. so, as one final touch to our pizza feast, i incorporated one on my favorite things into a dessert pizza - nutella!
a simple sugar cookie dough served as the crust for the strawberry nutella pizza. after baking and cooling, the crust got a slathering of chocolaty hazelnut goodness.
strawberry halves served as a chocolate topping and a drizzle of both caramel and whipped cream added both sweetness and decoration.
the only problem? i'm not sure which one was better. guess i'll have to go back for seconds . . .

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(makes 3 pizza crusts)

2 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F), plus more if needed
1 (1/4 oz) packet of active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
olive oil

in a large bowl, whisk together flours, and salt.

in a large measuring cup, dissolve yeast in water. pour into flour and salt mixture. stir (or use your hands) to combine until a soft dough forms. add more water if too dry and more flour if too sticky.

using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead dough on medium-low speed until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-8 minutes). drizzle the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl. cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, dry place for 2 hours. (i preheat my oven to 120 degrees F. turn it off, and let the bowl sit in there.

after dough has doubled in size, deflate the center of the dough and cut into 3 equal-sized pieces. form into a ball and place each in separate, oiled bowls. cover and let rise again for about an hour.

remove and wrap in plastic wrap. keep in fridge until ready to roll out or freeze for a later use. when ready to use, roll out, add sauce and toppings and bake at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

White Clam Sauce

1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 (6.5 oz) cans of minced clams, drained, juices reserved
1/4 cup reserved clam juice
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

combine butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. once butter has melted, add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. add flour and stir for 1 minute. pour in wine and stir well until smooth. add clam juice and simmer until reduced by half. stir in clams, cream, and parmesan and stir well until smooth.

pour over cooked linguine or rolled out pizza dough. sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!


  1. I'm right there with ya - no such thing as too much garlic ! these both look SO great...

    I love dessert pizza and the clam sauce pizza? so simple - I may like the pizza version better than pasta!!

  2. oh my gosh, I am drooling over that dessert pizza! WOW!

  3. Yum! What a great take on pizza. The nutella and strawberries look amazing, of course. But I am also intrigued by the idea of the clam sauce pizza. Sounds delicious! Nicely done. I voted for you again!

    Good luck! Hope to see us both in round 6!!! =)

  4. I love linguini with clams, so I am crazy about this recipe. Very creative! Good luck!

  5. I'll take the nutella one! I like nutella with raspberries...try that next time: you'll love it!

  6. Pizza with clams is definitely something I never imagined, but now I totally want to try it! And the dessert pizza looks fabulous, too :)


  7. Hee hee, cute dessert pizzas. Yeah, I'm not sure either if I'd be able to choose between those two!

  8. My perfect pizza party. I was going to make a dessert pizza too but then last minute changed my mind. I guess 2 is better than 1 :)

  9. My parents love clam sauce and they made me eat it too much, so I'm not a fan anymore. But I'd love some nutella pizza. PLEASE!

  10. Liking the look of the garlic-y clam sauce pizza!

  11. AMAZING! I am totally making both of these ASAP!

  12. Both pizzas look fantastic, I might just have to side with the one topped with nutella. :)

  13. This sounds so delicious and very inventive! It sounds like something I'd try to do with pizza...only I might be too afraid.
    The nutella pizza? wow. now I know what to do with my costco sized-nutella jars.

    Just found your blog and I like it! You've got my PFB vote!

  14. Just wanted to leave a note - I voted for you! I'm sorry you didn't make it to Round 6, but I was very impressed with your pizzas, especially the clam sauce one. Wow! Congrats for making it this far, you should be proud of yourself. :)


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