If you’ve lived in New York in relatively recent years, I’d find it hard to believe it if you didn’t know the name Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. With several locations in NY, each serving up their famous signature slice, Artichoke Pizza is, in my opinion, a staple to the NYC food scene. This signature slice I speak of is epic, guys. It’s pretty much an extra large slice of pizza smothered with ultra rich and creamy spinach-artichoke dip. It’s sinful, it’s decadent, it’s delicious, and I’ve ended many nights out on the town at Artichoke Basille’s.
Now, what do I do when I find a dish that I absolutely love? I recreate it at home. Usually with a twist. So today’s recipe is my version of spinach-artichoke ‘za. Only I’ve slimmed it down a bit to be less of an indulgence. Don’t worry, the flavor, the richness and the heavenly quality of my version is on point. I start off with my simplest pizza dough recipe (which is enough for two pies). I then top it with a super simple spinach-artichoke dip made with a blend of yogurt, cream cheese, organic frozen spinach, artichoke hearts and parm cheese. Normally I would also mix in some shredded mozz, but the mozz for this recipe goes on top, in traditional pizza form. After baking, the cheese is browning and the spinach-artichoke spread is bubbling. Can’t you just picture it in all its hot and cheesy glory? Now, I could sit here and ramble on and on about how delicious this pizza is, but there’s really no need, is there? Spinach-artichoke dip plus pizza equals pure awesomeness. Even in a lightened-up form, it’s nothing short of incredible.
What I will go on and on about though, is how easy and how versatile this recipe is. While I hate when there is no fresh produce used in a recipe, this one just doesn’t need for anything fresh. I like the quantity of cooked spinach you get when using a frozen variety (cheaper too). And unless you want to prep eight or more artichokes for their hearts, canned is the way to go for this. It’s a very convenient and cost effective meal, something you can shop for a couple weeks (or more) in advance, and everything will be ready when you are. This really comes in handy during football season and around the holidays. Need a dinner or appetizer in a flash? Trust me when I say, this is a crowd-pleasing all star. And you’re welcome!
Serves: 4-6 (main course) Start to Finish: 35 minutes
2 balls of refrigerated or homemade Pizza Dough (get my quick and easy recipe here)
1 package frozen Spinach, thawed/defrosted (organic preferred)
2 14-ounce cans Artichoke Hearts (each heart quartered)
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parm Cheese
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt (grass-fed preferred)
4 ounces Cream Cheese
Cornmeal (organic, non gmo preferred)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella (8 ounces)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Allow pizza dough to rest at room temp for about an hour (if using refrigerated dough).
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Squeeze out excess liquid from thawed spinach. I wrap it in a clean towel before squeezing.
To a food processor, add spinach, 1/2 of 1 can artichokes (4-5 hearts), parmesan cheese, garlic, yogurt, cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon paprika. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with more salt to taste.
Toss or press each dough ball to fit on respective pan or pizza stone. Cover pan or peel with a light, even dusting of cornmeal. Lay pizza doughs over cornmeal. Top each crust with 1/2 of the spinach-artichoke mixture, leaving a thin ring around the edge untouched. Top each pizza with reserved quartered artichoke hearts (to taste), and then top each pie with 2/3 to 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Season the crust ring with a light seasoning of salt and garlic powder (about 1/8 tsp of each on each pie).
Bake pizzas for 10-15 minutes, until cheese and crust are beginning to brown. Serve hot. Garnish with crushed red pepper flake (optional).