Gigi "Skizza" with Arugula Pesto, Ricotta, and Chicken
Recipe created by Laura Pensiero
Like a thin, Neapolitan-style pizza, this dish provides a canvas for just about any seasonal ingredient—no two "Skizzas" are alike at chef Laura Pensiero's Gigi Trattoria, but they all start with whole grain flatbread. We topped this summery one with arugula pesto and lemon-scented ricotta. For the fall, try a Roasted Red Pepper Pesto "Skizza" with Smoked Salmon and Capers .

This recipe is from The Real-Food Diet Mix-and-Match Meal Plan .
Servings: Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula , plus extra leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic , peeled
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or oregano or parsley (or a mix)
  • 4 (8-inch) very thin whole wheat pitas
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cooked and very thinly sliced
Note: The Gigi staff make their own unleavened dough for this crust. We suggest pita; pizza dough or wheat tortillas also work.

Preheat oven to 450°. To make pesto, put arugula, 1/2 of olive oil, and garlic in a food processor; pulse a few times. Add pine nuts, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, anchovy (if using), and salt and pepper to taste; pulse to combine. With motor running, add rest of oil to make a puree.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, herbs, rest of zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange pitas in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Spread 1 side of each with pesto, then scatter mozzarella (if using) over pesto, fan chicken on top, and dot with ricotta mixture; bake until browned and bubbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Garnish with extra arugula leaves; serve.

Recipe variations:

Replace toppings with...

  • Spring, version 1: Chopped cooked clams and baby spinach.
  • Spring, version 2: Tomato sauce, mozzarella, cooked shrimp, pea shoots, and red chili flakes.
  • Summer: Eggplant caponata, oil-cured tuna, and red chili flakes.
  • Fall, version 1: Sliced roasted sweet potatoes, prosciutto, and fresh sage.
  • Fall, version 2: Braised kale, sliced Spanish chorizo, and blue cheese.
  • Winter, version 1: Sliced roast beef, horseradish, and pickled onions.
  • Winter, version 2: Goat cheese, mozzarella, preserved figs, pears, arugula, and white truffle oil.
  • All year round: Oven-roasted seasonal vegetables and Pecorino Romano.
From Hudson Valley Mediterranean: The Gigi Good Food Cookbook, by Laura Pensiero. Copyright (c) 2009 by Laura Pensiero. Published by William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.


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