Carrot juice in the crust (which gives it an appealing golden color) and shredded carrots in the tomato sauce (which give it a chunkier texture) are the "secret ingredients" in this carotene-rich pizza.
1-1/2 cups carrot juice
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cornmeal, for dusting the baking sheet (optional)
Sauce & Toppings:
2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups (packed) chopped stemmed spinach
1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into thin slivers
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely slivered red onion (optional)
1/4 cup fresh jalapeño pepper rings
1. To make the dough: In a small saucepan, warm 1/4 cup of carrot juice to lukewarm (105° to 115°F); remove from the heat. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm carrot juice. Let sit until creamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cayenne, mixing until well combined. Beat in the yeast mixture and remaining 1-1/4 cups carrot juice. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and place in a warm spot until almost doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large nonstick skillet, combine the tomato sauce, carrot, 2 tablespoons of the chopped basil, the oregano, and black pepper, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the spinach and remaining 2 tablespoons basil, and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Drain in a strainer.
5. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Roll the dough out to a 13-inch round. Fit the circle of dough onto a large baking sheet (if desired, sprinkle the sheet with cornmeal before placing the dough on top). Roll the dough inward all the way around to form a high edge.
6. Spoon the sauce evenly over the dough and bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 10 minutes. Spoon the spinach over the tomato sauce and sprinkle the cheese over the spinach. Arrange the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, onion (if using), and jalapeño rings on top. Continue to bake the pizza on the lowest shelf until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 436 calories, 7.4g total fat (3.3g saturated), 16mg cholesterol, 6.9g dietary fiber, 75g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 419mg sodium.