For the pesto:
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano cheese
For the mushroom topping:
About 2 cups fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned
2 T chopped red onion or shallot
1 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated
2 rounds of pizza dough, rolled out
Cornmeal for dusting
You will also need:
Medium sauté pan
To make the pesto:
Toast pine nuts on the stove in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Watch closely to ensure that they do not burn. Let cool. In a food processor, combine pine nuts, basil and garlic until well chopped. With motor running, add oil through the top. Stir in cheese and salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To prepare the mushroom topping:
Clean the mushrooms with a mushroom brush. Slice any larger ones so that they are all fairly uniform in size. Sauté chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and cook for about five minutes until the mushrooms are cooked throughout. Salt to taste. Let cool. They are now ready to use on the pizza.
To assemble and bake the pizza:
Place rolled out pizza dough onto pizza peel or rimless baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Brush the dough with 1 Tablespoon of pesto. Since this recipe makes enough topping for two pizzas, arrange half the mushrooms and onions on top of pizza dough. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the mushrooms. Brush the rim with olive oil. Slide the pizza onto a preheated pizza stone or into a pre-heated wood-fired oven. Bake until the pizza crust is browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with another Tablespoon of the pesto sauce.
Slice and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe makes enough topping for two medium pizzas.