Friday nights are usually “pizza night” at our house, and last Friday this homemade Tomato and Artichoke Pizza was the star of the show.
There is something about Fridays and the start of the weekend that calls for an easy casual dinner. When my children were young, this was our routine and even now that they are gone with families of their own, this tradition still endures in our house. Of course, most of the time this means we just pick up the phone and order a pizza to be delivered. I don’t know why but to me there is something so decadent about actually having someone come to your house to bring you dinner. But really, after all, who wants to cook on Friday night? Last Friday, however, I decided to break with tradition and make our pizza.
No, I didn’t spend hours making homemade pizza dough, although I’m sure that would have been wonderful, and I admire those cooks who can do this. I chose the easy route and used refrigerated pizza dough. I think it took me all of about 30 seconds to roll it out on my baking sheet. Now that I had the base, I needed something to put on it. I rummaged around in my refrigerator and pantry and came up with a can of artichokes, some cherry tomatoes, a jar of pesto and, of course, cheese!
It only took me another 5 minutes to saute the cherry tomatoes although, in hindsight, I’m not sure that you couldn’t skip this step if pressed for time. By the time I had added all of the toppings to the pizza, I think I had less than 10 minutes invested in the preparation. Add another 15 minutes for the pizza to bake and can I just tell you it was out of this world delicious! Fresh, hot, oozing with melted cheese and covered with all of our favorite things, Friday night couldn’t get much better than that!
The ingredients for homemade Tomato and Artichoke Pizza couldn’t be simpler: refrigerated pizza crust, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, grated garlic, Italian seasoning, a can of small artichoke hearts, crushed red pepper flakes, jarred basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, Havarti cheese and a little fresh basil for garnish.
Of course, the beauty of homemade pizza is that with different toppings you can customize it to your family’s taste. Think black olives, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, sliced jalapeno’s, onion, sliced tomatoes, bell pepper strips, pineapple, chicken, spinach, green olives, different kinds of cheese, the list goes on and on. Also, instead of pesto, feel free to use jarred pizza sauce or marinara sauce. You can even mix it up.
If you are ready to make homemade Tomato Artichoke Pizza gather your ingredients and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Unroll dough on a large baking sheet which has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the pesto on the pizza dough and spread out evenly.
Heat a heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and tomatoes. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are charred and beginning to break down. Add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes and saute about 1 minute. Mix well and remove from the heat.
Spoon the tomato mixture over the pizza evenly.
Add the artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese slices and grated Havarti.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crisp and brown. (The more toppings that are on the pizza, the longer it will take to cook.)
Loosen the pizza with a metal spatula, garnish with basil and cut into slices! Enjoy!