Pizza is one of the best foods on the planet. I grew up with real, New York, pizzeria pizza. Where Vinnie and his dad spun dough in the air, wiped their floured hands on aprons, and scooped cherry red Italian ice into paper cups.
But I like all kinds of pizza.
One of our favorites is Bertucci’s Shrimp Bella Venezia: Pizza with a garlicky cream sauce, shrimp, fresh tomatoes, and basil, fired in a wood oven. You can get the same effect on your grill (though this is perfectly delicious made in your oven, as well).
We picked up some wild caught Gulf shrimp on sale today at Whole Foods, and I gave it a try on our grilled pizza dough.
Bertucci’s Shrimp Bella Venezia Pizza: Copycat Recipe
Grill your dough.
- mozzarella (optional)
- Alfredo Sauce or Lemony Garlic Cream Sauce (see below)
- fresh tomatoes, diced
- cooked shrimp
- Parmesan cheese
- fresh basil
Return to the grill for a few minutes until hot and bubbly.
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE
- 4 1/4 + cups bread flour
- 1 packet (2 1/4 t) yeast
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1 3/4 c water
- 2 T olive oil
Whisk together 4 c flour with yeast and salt. Mix in water and oil until incorporated.
Knead on a lightly floured counter, adding remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking. Knead until the dough forms a smooth ball (10-15 minutes).
Transfer to lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (1- 1 1/2 hours).
Divide dough into three pieces and shape each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Stretch each ball into a 12-inch round on lightly greased cookie sheet. (Don’t stress too much about getting it perfectly round, since it will look more like an amoeba once you get it onto the grill). Pull up the dough on one end and flip gently onto the hot grill. This might take a little practice. You can always divide the dough into 4 (or even 5) balls for smaller, personal size pizzas the first couple of times.
Grill until dough is blistered and edges are golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Turn the grill down to med/low.
Add your toppings.
Dough can be refrigerated for up to 16 hours. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before dividing and shaping.
- 1 – 3 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 4 T butter
- 4 heaping T flour
- about 2 c milk
- 1/2 – 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (mix with Pecorino Romano for a stronger flavor)
- salt, to taste
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant, not brown. Set aside.
In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring with a whisk until the flour is completely incorporated. It should start smelling yummy and turning golden. (Turn down the heat if you need to).
Add the milk gradually while you whisk. You want to add the milk only as fast as the flour will absorb it. This will keep your sauce from getting lumpy. It will look like dough at first.
Keep adding the milk until you have a creamy sauce. Add the cheese and garlic. Continue whisking until the cheese is melted.
Lemony Garlic Cream Sauce
Add fresh lemon juice (to taste)
UPDATE: We ordered this pizza at Bertucci’s this weekend. What a disappointment! The creamy sauce has morphed into a drier, Parmesan cheese base. It was saltier and more like a traditional pizza.
So if you want the old shrimp bella venezia pizza I rave about, I guess you’ll have to make it yourself. I know that’s what we’ll be doing.