Whether it’s thin crust, thick crust, deep dish, or Sicilian-style, most pizzas share a common flavor – tomato sauce. But there exists another flavor of pizza that some of you still may not have tried: the pizza “Bianca”, a.k.a white pizza. Today we’ll be giving you a few tips and recipes to use making your first white pizza.
On a white pizza, tomato sauce is either omitted from the recipe, or replaced by a drizzling of olive oil with some herbs or garlic. Some white pizzas also use a spreadable cheese such as ricotta, Marscapone, or chevre in place of red sauce. While tomato sauce works well with a majority of toppings, white pizzas take a little more planning to balance flavors.
Keeping it Simple
In the United States we tend to pile our pizzas high with ingredients. While it sure does sound tasty to add everything but the kitchen sink, sometimes less is more. This is often the case for white pizzas. When you substitute tomato sauce for a soft spreadable cheese or a white sauce you’re creating a rich, creamy base to build your pizza on, so it’s wise to plan your toppings and build your flavor profile accordingly. Let’s take a look at some options for sauce and the types of toppings that go well with them.
Olive Oil, Garlic, and Herbs
Probably the most simple “sauce” to put on a white pizza, this is also one of the most versatile bases to pair with toppings. The subtle flavors of the olive oil, pungent garlic, and fresh herbs work well enhancing the taste of many common pizza ingredients. Pair this sauce with any combination of toppings you’d normally use for a simple and refreshing change of pace from the typical red sauce pizza.
White sauce can be made from a variety of ingredients in a few different styles. Alfredo sauce which is a combination of cream, garlic, butter and Parmesan, can make a great base to build a pizza on. If you’re looking for a simple yet flavorful white sauce, buy a bottle (or better yet, make your own) of your favorite ranch dressing and just add garlic. These sauces are a considerably more rich than the previously mentioned sauce, so plan your toppings accordingly. Vegetables are widely compatible with these sauces, but when it comes to meat stick with chicken or fish.
Some soft cheeses are so creamy and spreadable that they make a great substitute for sauce. Ricotta and marscapone both make great choices for this technique. Much like the white sauces, you’ll also want to be careful not to overpower your pizza with rich ingredients. Keep meat flavors light and think about bright tasting ingredients you can use to contrast the richness, such as tart varieties of tomatoes, thinly shaved lemon, marinated artichokes, or green olives.
A Simple, Tasty Recipe
Our advice today wouldn’t be the same without including a recipe, so without further ado, here’s a step by step guide for a simple garlic Alfredo sauce:
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch salt
- In a medium size pan, melt butter and gently sauté minced garlic 30-60 seconds until fragrant. While stirring, add flour slowly until fully incorporated.
- Cook butter/flour mixture 2-3 minutes over medium-low flame.
- Slowly add milk, whisking steadily, until fully incorporated. Increase heat to medium high and reduce slightly while stirring, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Finish by adding Parmesan and salt.