Thursday, March 31, 2011

Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza

A big thank you to all of you who took the time to leave such sweet and caring comments on the loss of my friend.  It means so much to be part of such a caring and supportive group of people. Your caring support is what got me back in the kitchen today.

My friend Brenda, of Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, and I started a new venture where we pick one recipe from Rachel Ray's newest book, Look + Cook, per month.  Last month was our first month and I chose Rachel's Pimento Mac 'n' Cheese, which was delicious.  This month was Brenda's pick and she chose this super fun and delicious Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza.  (You can see Brenda's post on this recipe by clicking HERE.)

The very idea of baking pizza in a frying pan is a unique and fun idea.  I didn't have the 6" frying pan that Rachel called for in the recipe so I used my 10" cast iron skillet.  The biggest perk in using the frying pan was that you essentially end up with a deep-dish style pizza.  I love that! Rachel's recipe calls for a Florentine-style pizza filling and it was delicious, but you could easily fill the pizza dough with any topping/filling of your choice.
Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
Serves 3-4 easily

3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in a clean kitchen towel
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, quartered
1 cup shredded Italian Fontina or Provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a handful

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.  Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.  Season them with salt and pepper, then remove to a plate.  Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the butter to the pan and melt.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk for a minute.  Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add drained defrosted spinach into the mushrooms and sauce.  Remove from the heat.
Roll out 1/4 pound of pizza dough to form a round large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 6-inch skillet.  Wrap and freeze the unused pizza dough in 1/4-pound individual portions.  Heads up: If your skillet handle isn't oven-safe, wrap the handle a couple of times with aluminum foil.  Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of EVOO into the skillet and coat the sides with a pastry brush.  Lay the dough into the skillet, pressing gently as you work the dough up the sides so it reaches the edge of the skillet.  Fill the dough with the mushroom and spinach mixture and top with Fontina or Provolone and the Parmigiano cheeses.  Pop in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges and bottom of the crust are golden brown.
Notes/Results:  I am a fool for creamed spinach so I really loved the filling in this pizza which consisted of creamed spinach, sliced mushrooms, and lots of cheese - yum!  Also, I really wondered whether or not the pizza dough would crisp up due to all the filling, but it was perfectly crisp and delicious.  Once the pizza cooled I slipped it out of the frying pan and onto a cutting board and noticed that it looked just like a deep-dish pizza- very nice.  I can honestly say that I love this method of baking a pizza in my cast iron skillet and will try it again for sure.  

I do have a few notes to share.  As mentioned above, I didn't have the 6" frying pan called for so I used a 10" cast iron skillet with great results.  Also, the recipe calls for frozen pizza dough.  I couldn't find any frozen pizza dough anywhere and didn't feel like making any from scratch so I used Pillsbury's refrigerated pizza crust.  The refrigerated pizza crust works in a pinch, but I do think this recipe warrants either making your own pizza dough or buying a good quality pizza dough.  Also, Rachel calls this an individual pizza and says that it serves one, but the pizza is very sizable and will easily serve 3 or 4. 
April's Look + Cook recipe is Sirloin Burgers with Garlic-Black Pepper-Parmesan Sauce & Roasted Tomatoes with Basil & Balsamic Drizzle.

I'm also linking this post to Deborah's Saturdays with Rachel Ray over at Taste and Tell

Thanks again for all of your sweet and caring comments!  I'm hoping to get back in the game and catch up on all my comments in the next few days.


  1. Kim...I've used a cast iron skillet before to bake a gives it a great crust. That cheesy spinach filling sounds so good!

  2. Kim, I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as we did. I loved baking it in the cast iron pan and we're going to try that on different pizzas. As I mentioned in my post, I made this twice in a week, lol. Loved it! Looking forward to your burgers for April. :o) Oh, I'll link you up now to my post.

  3. So sorry about your friend, Kim. It's always difficult to lose someone you're close to.

    As for the pizza: I've never been a huge fan of
    Rachael's, but this recipe looks like a winner!

  4. What fun! that looks pretty god...I don't have a skillety but I have a cast iron 5 1/2 quart pot. I wonder if the sides are too high for the pizza. Hmmmm

  5. I was staring at the last shot thinking "wow...that's some fabulous looking crust!" Then I had to laugh at myself when I read that it's Pillsbury (which I claim to despise).

  6. This looks insanely delish!!! We will be trying it soon I think:)

  7. While I'm normally a thin crust pizza maven--the thinner the better--I share your love of spinach and pizza, creamy no less, and would love to try out my cast iron pan to make this. I make pizza at least every other week, so this is going on my list for week after next. So glad to have you back!

  8. Deep dish pizza...but without all the oil. I'm in love. I'm pretty sure I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be very happy. And I wouldn't even get scurvy because of the spinach. Nice.

  9. my kind of pizza for sure! i would have to make this on a night when the husband and kids are away because i'm eating the whole thing!!

  10. Cheese and spinach - they are my favorite pizza toppings! Also, it's great that you used a cast iron pan, it gets nice and hot, which creates a wonderful crisp crust.

  11. Well, I'm a fool for creamed spinach as well and the pizza looks and sounds incredible! I especially love the addition of the mushrooms. I think I would have problems sharing this great pizza pie with the rest of the family :o)

  12. I just made a cast iron deep dish pizza last night, using pillsbury pizza dough, and me and the man didn't like the dough at all! It was too much like a crescent and not pizza dough. I guess I will have to learn how to make my own pizza dough!

  13. This sounds wonderful. I like the deep dish style and anything with spinach and cheese gets my vote:)

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

  14. Creamy spinach pizza works for me--this looks decadent and delicious. It is nice to see you back blogging--you were missed. ;-)

  15. This is the second recipe today on Saturdays with RR that is from this cookbook - I really think I need a copy of it!! I love this idea, and I'm with you - I love creamed spinach!

  16. That is seriuosly a gorgeous pizza...I have it marked to try. Soon! Glad you're back =)

  17. Frying pan makes perfect sense. We use a 10" stoneware dish for our deep dish pizzas on the grill. Like the frying pan, it has a good thermal mass, which makes for better pizza.

  18. Just made this, thanks so much for the recipe : ) It was awesome!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.