With so many Italian pizza recipes out there I just had to add my own recipe to the mix. I created this incredible pizza several years ago; in fact it was about 11 years ago. I made it originally for my soon-to-be-husband shortly after introducing him to fresh foods. At first he went through some major convenience food cravings so I went all out to create a few comfort foods to ease his transition. One dish he was missing in particular was Italian pizza. Before long he was enjoying another kind of pizza.
The pizza crust for this pizza is a variation of my Cauliflower Flat Bread Pizza Crust which uses buckwheat flour. For this crust I used quinoa flour. It gave the crust extra aroma and a hint of nuttiness, and worked beautifully with the other Mediterranean flavors.
When I first started using sprouted flour, I made it from scratch. I sprouting, dehydrating and then milled the grain into flour. It was a lot of work even though I enjoyed the process. Fortunately you can purchase ready made sprouted flours (even raw) online and in specialty stores. I always keep several kinds on hand to whip up recipes like this in a stomach beat. They provide certain textures (and flavors) that aren’t possible with just nuts and it’s much lower in fat.
To make this crust, I processed the sprouted flour and other ingredients together then spread the mixture on a solid dehydrator sheet. No kneading and no rising time. The crust was then scored and dehydrated to perfect inside and out eat-with-your-hands texture. It was in every way comfort food worthy. By the way, you can bake the crust too.
My budding pizza had to have some sauce and spice. I blended sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, spices and seasonings to saucy perfection, and dubbed my creation Fresh Marinara Sauce. It tastes just like traditional pizza sauce only spicier and richer. You won’t be going back to canned any time soon once you sample a little fresh home-made pizza sauce. Best part is no simmering for hours on end. Just blend and it’s ready to use.
A simple and delicious Parmesan “Cheese” Cucumber Pasta with Creamy Kale Sauce and Parmesan Cheese added traditional flair to the pizza. It’s so close to the dairy version you may not even tell the difference. I’ve never even looked at dairy Parmesan cheese since discovering how easy it is to make this nut version. And you can use most any nut meal you want. Just stir in a little nutritional yeast and sea salt and it’s ready. So so simple. Of course you can omit this or use another topping of choice. This pizza is a knock-out without it.
The last step was dehydrating the vegetable toppings. I placed them on a mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrated them during the last hour that my pizza was dehydrating. No use running the machine twice. This gave the vegetables a “baked” taste and appearance and I would have some warm toppings on my soft warm crust.
When my trendy pizza was completed, it was served to hubby who was beyond thrilled. Of course at that time it wasn’t quite so trendy. But now with all the gluten and nut-free crusts taking over it’s one of my most popular recipes. Needless to say hubby hasn’t even asked for cooked pizza since. I couldn’t be happier about that. After all those years of avoiding grains and starch, he could now enjoy a former favorite without the starchy consequences. Feasting while staying fit was a dream come true for him. I hope you’ll enjoy making and feasting on this savvy pizza. It’s comfort food meets super food in one savory and oh so satisfying dish.
This recipe is raw, dairy and gluten-free, and serves 4 – 8 persons.
Italian Style Pizza w/ Quinoa Pizza Crust
Quinoa Pizza Crust:
Thawed frozen cauliflower will blend up a little smoother but either fresh or frozen will produce a wonderful crust. The crust will be drier when first completed and will soften when stored.
- 10 oz. fresh or thawed frozen cauliflower florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup sprouted quinoa flour (preferably raw) or other sprouted or regular flour of choice
- 2 tsp freshly minced or dried oregano
- 1 – 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 – 2 Tbsp flax seed oil or other oil of choice (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 Tbsp coconut/palm sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
- 1/4 tsp ground white or black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Process until smooth. The mixture should be thick and moist. Remove and use one of the following methods to prepare.
To Dehydrate: Transfer the mixture to a solid dehydrator sheet and spread into a large pizza shape about 1/4 inch thick. Score into desired slices. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 4 hours. Carefully turn the crust over onto a mesh dehydrator sheet, peeling off the solid dehydrator sheet. Place the crust back in the dehydrator and dehydrate for another 2 – 3 hours or until dry. When ready, it can be served immediately.
To Bake: Spread the mixture on a parchment lined cookie sheet to about 1/4-inch thickness. You can shape however you want. Score into desired slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove when ready and add toppings.
Yields a 10-inch crust. Can be stored refrigerated up to 2 weeks and frozen up to 2 months.
Fresh Marinara Sauce:
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup soft oil-free sun-dried tomatoes (soak in water then drain thoroughly if too hard to cut)
- 1 medium jalapeño, trimmed and seeds removed
- 1/4 cup chopped onion of choice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup water
- 1/2-inch peeled fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos or Nama Shoyu or other soy sauce of choice
- 1 tsp coconut/palm sugar or other sweetener of choice
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally for even blending. You can also add to a food processor and process until somewhat smooth, keeping some of the texture in.
- Remove and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. If storing, stir well before serving.
- Yields about 2 cups.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 5 days and frozen up to 2 months.
Parmesan “Cheese” (Optional):
Adding oil imparts texture and flavor. I use coconut oil because it adds a touch of natural sweetness. I also love the added health benefits but you can use any oil you wish or omit.
- 1/2 cup blanched almond meal or almond meal or other nut meal of choice
- 2 tsp unrefined virgin coconut oil or other other oil of choice (optional)
- 1 – 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional for cheesy flavor)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl.
- Stir with a fork until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Can be stored refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
You can add sliced vegetables to a mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for one hour or more before serving the pizza. This softens the vegetables a little and gives them a “baked” texture. I do this during the last hour when the pizza crust is dehydrating or sooner. That way they are both warm when served. You can also brush them with oil before dehydrating. The vegetables are also great served fresh or you can broil them on a greased baking pan for 20 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- sliced bell peppers
- sliced onion
- sliced mushrooms
- fresh chopped herbs
- chopped olives
- other toppings of choice
- Spoon and spread the Fresh Marinara Sauce onto the Quinoa Pizza Crust.
- Distribute Toppings evenly.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan “Cheese”.
- Slice and enjoy.