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Butternut Squash and Almond Ricotta Pizza

Homemade vegan pizza that's as pretty as it is delicious!
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Cuisine: Pizza
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 2 (12-inch) pizzas
Calories:

Ingredients

  • NOTE: To make the Almond Ricotta you’ll need to blanch and soak the almonds in water overnight.

For the Pizza Crust

  • 1 1/3 cups water - divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – plus extra to grease the bowl it will rise in
  • 1 tablespoon quick-rise yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic-minced 1 tablespoon, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Almond Ricotta

  • 1 ½ cups raw almonds
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt

For the Toppings

  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 small sweet white onion – thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

For the Pizza Dough

  • Proof the yeast first. In a small bowl, whisk 1/3 of a cup of warm water with the yeast and the sugar and let it sit for approximately 4 to 5 minutes or until it starts to bubble and looks foamy.
  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.
  • Mix the remaining cup of water with the olive oil in a bowl. Pour the yeast into the water and olive oil and mix well.
  • Attach a bread hook to your mixer and pour the yeast mixture into the flour, add the garlic, and mix on a slow speed. Scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl. Mix until it forms a ball (see note).
  • Grease a large bowl, and your hands, and remove the dough from the mixer and roll it into a solid ball. Place the dough in the greased bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the towel, the dough should have risen to more than twice the size of the original ball of dough. Punch it down in the middle and knead it in your hands for 15 seconds and roll it into another ball. Place it in the bowl, cover with the towel, and let it rise for another 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  • Note: Due to differences in humidity and altitude, be prepared to make adjustments to the flour. If the dough seems too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it forms a solid ball of dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it forms a solid ball of dough

For the Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 385°
  • Cut the squash into quarters and remove the seeds. Grind salt and pepper on the squash, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, wrap in foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once it’s cool enough to handle, slice the squash into ¼ to ½ inch slices.
  • While the squash is roasting make the almond ricotta.

For the Almond Ricotta

  • Blanche the almonds in boiling water for one minute. Drain the almonds and put in a medium bowl and cover with purified water, let sit overnight. Drain the water and rinse.
  • Remove the skins from the almonds by pinching them. The skins should slide off easily.
  • Put the almonds in a high-powered blender with a cup of hot water and 1 teaspoon of salt and blend on a high speed for approximately two minutes or until the almonds turn into a thick and light, almost fluffy, cheese. Squeeze the excess water out of the cheese, over a bowl, with a cheese cloth or a super fine strainer. Some of the cheese will seep through, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the bowl. Scrape the excess cheese off of the bottom of the strainer.

To Make the Pizza

  • Preheat the oven and the pizza stone (don’t forget to soak it in water first) to 450°. If you don’t have a pizza stone you can bake it on a cookie sheet (heat it in the oven like you’d heat the pizza stone, so the bottom of the crust gets crispy) or on the oven rack (put foil or another cookie sheet on the bottom rack to prevent spillage.
  • Evenly spread a handful of flour and cornmeal on a cookie sheet. Split the dough in half and pat one half into a disc and roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Evenly brush the olive oil over the top of the crust and grind a bit of sea salt for extra flavor. Spread half of the ricotta over the entire crust. Arrange the squash slices, onion, and cranberries over the crust and transfer the crust to the pizza stone, or bake it on the cookie sheet, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edge of the crust is golden brown and crisp.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Freeze the second pizza in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to a month. Reheat the pizza in a 350° oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.