Spring vegetables are the star of the show in this easy pizza recipe with asparagus, bacon, peas, and pine nuts!
Spring has finally arrived here in Nashville, and I couldn’t be more happy about it. I thrive in sunshine and have been out walking every chance I get. Along with Spring comes asparagus, which is my all-time favorite veggie and perfect quick and easy pizza recipe!
I whipped this pizza up on a whim with no intentions of using it for a blog post, but it’s just too good not to share. The salty, smoky bacon was perfect with the fresh, sweet veggies. Thanks to premade pizza dough, you can have this whipped up in no time. Most grocery stores have fresh dough available, but I prefer to pick mine up at our local pizzeria. The price is comparable to what you’ll pay at the store, but it’s so much better!
How gorgeous is fresh asparagus??
The key to success when working with premade pizza dough is to let it come to room temperature before you try and roll it. If you don’t, it will resist stretching, making it near impossible to roll out. I let mine sit out for about two hours in the warmest part of my kitchen, which is on top of my stove. Using a combination of rolling and stretching helps me achieve an imperfect shape, which is what makes it look homemade, IMO. To keep it from sticking, you can use a pizza stone or line your pan with parchment paper.
Once you have your dough rolled and stretched to your liking, use a fork or a dough docker to poke holes all over it before the first bake. Preheat the oven according to the directions given on the dough you purchase. I cook all my premade pizza dough on 450 degrees F.
While the dough cooks, get the bacon cooking. I use a good pair of kitchen scissors and cut it right into the pan. When the bacon is just crisp, remove it with a slotted spoon, and let it drain on paper towels. Reserve about a tablespoon of the grease, and add the onions. Cook for the onions for two minutes, and then add the shaved asparagus and frozen peas. These just get a minute in the pan, stirring constantly.
Remove the dough from the oven, spread it with a thin layer of ricotta, followed by the cheese, asparagus, bacon, and peas. Finish with a little more cheese, pine nuts, and crushed red pepper. Bake until the dough is cooked through, golden brown around the edges, and the cheese is melted. This will take approximately 5 – 7 more minutes. Depending on how thick or thin your crust is, the cooking time will vary.
To shave the asparagus, hold it at the end where you would usually break it, and make long strokes with a vegetable peeler. You will get some that are long and perfect and some that are shorter and more broken. That’s OK. Imperfections are what make things homemade. I used a total of six asparagus, which gave me about a cup of asparagus ribbons. If this is too tedious, just cut them into half inch pieces.
This may come as a surprise, but I don’t love mozzarella cheese. I think it lacks flavor. If I’m going to use cheese, I want as much bang for my buck as I can get. Using a combination of sharp white cheddar and Parmesan give this ton of flavor without the heaviness of mozzarella cheese.
- 16-ounce pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅔ cup ricotta cheese, full fat
- ½ cup white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 slices thick cut bacon
- ½ small onion, thinly sliced
- 6 fresh asparagus spears
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough out to your desired thickness.
- Poke holes all over the dough, and lightly brush with olive oil, focusing on the edges.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 5 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Cook the bacon until crisp, remove from the pan, and reserve one tablespoon of the grease.
- Add the red onion and cook for two minutes.
- Add the asparagus and frozen peas and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pan from the heat to allow the mixture to slightly cool.
- Spread the crust with ricotta in a thin, even layer, followed by half of both kinds of cheese.
- Add the cooked veggies and the bacon, followed by the remaining cheese, pine nuts, and crushed red pepper.
- Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley or basil, if desired.