Tuna Pizza with Green Olives and Red Onion (Yes, Tuna – and it ROCKS!)

December 15, 2012

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. And what I really like about it is the fact that there are so many different styles of pizza, and endless flavor combinations. Our favorite style tends to be thin-crust, Neapolitan style, but sometimes a good thick-crust pizza is just the thing. (Especially since it allows you to enjoy the crust with honey at the end of the meal (à la Beau Jo’s).) Boulder has a wide variety of wonderful Neapolitan style pizzerias to try. Our favorite is Pizzeria da Lupo, but we also love Proto’s Pizza, and have had great meals at Pizzeria Locale and Pizzeria Basta. (For pizza provided on-site from a mobile pizza oven, check out Crust Mobile.)

On the home front, my husband and I created a favorite pizza years ago, and it’s pretty much the only one we make at home: Tuna pizza with green olives and red onion. Yes, I said tuna. And it’s fantastic. We use sliced green olives with pimento, some red onion slices, and a mix of reduced-fat Havarti (available at the Boulder Whole Foods) and grated pecorino romano cheeses. My husband came up with a great sauce for the pizza using the juice from the drained tuna, garlic, some fish bullion and a bit of corn starch.

For the crust, we use a recipe from my mom which is a modified version of a recipe from my favorite pizza restaurant as a child, Valentino’s. It uses both whole-wheat and white flour, and I use King Arthur whole wheat white flour for the white, so it’s a bit healthier than your average pizza crust. We find a pizza stone to be pretty much essential for making pizza at home, since a home oven isn’t capable of getting as hot as the ovens in pizza joints. And a pizza peel to remove the pizza is also an incredibly handy tool.

Tuna Pizza with Green Olives and Red Onion

makes 1 pizza (16 inch pizza stone)
Pizza Dough
1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup hot water (add more if too dry)
2 tsp olive oil
4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1+1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1+1/2 cup white flour

Sauce
liquid from the drained tuna
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dried or concentrated fish-flavored bullion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 c water
1 tsp olive oil

Toppings
1 7-oz can high-quality albacore chunk tuna packed in water, drained – save the liquid!
10-12 large pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
2-3 thin slices of red onion, cut into 1+1/2 to 2 inch strips
5 oz reduced-fat (or regular) Havarti cheese, grated
1 oz finely grated pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese

Make the pizza dough:

Combine yeast, warm water & 1/2 tsp sugar and let sit for 5 minutes. Either put in a bread machine with all other ingredients and use the dough setting OR, mix the yeast with all ingredients through egg whites. Add the flour and mix again. Cover and let rise about 1 hour. (For both methods – check to make sure the amount of liquid is right for the texture of the dough, and adjust with more water or more flour as necessary).

Prepare the toppings:

Before the dough is ready to bake, grate the cheese, and slice the olives and red onion.

Bake the crust:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough out to fit your pizza stone. Sprinkle the pizza stone with cornmeal, then place the crust on top. Poke the crust all over (well, within reason, don’t go too overboard!) with a fork to avoid bubbling. Bake 7-10 minutes on the pizza stone, and then remove from the oven with the pizza peel. While the pizza crust is baking, make the sauce. (But don’t forget to check the crust after 7 minutes!)

Make the sauce:

Drain the tuna liquid into a small bowl or mug. In a separate small bowl or mug, add a tsp of the liquid at a time to the cornstarch, and mix until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the mixture back into the liquid from the tuna. Add the fish bullion, crushed garlic, and 1/3 cup of water, and mix well. Microwave on half-power for 45 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 30-45 seconds, until the mixture has thickened a bit.

Assemble the Pizza and bake it:

Spread the sauce on the pizza crust. Then arrange the toppings evenly on top in the following order: tuna, pecorino romano, havarti, olives, red onion. Bake until the cheese is melted and starts to bubble, about 7 minutes. Remove with pizza peel and slice pizza.

Tuna Pizza with Green Olives and Red Onion

Tuna Pizza with Green Olives and Red Onion

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