Ottolenghi-inspired Mushroom Ragu “Mince” Pizza with Cashew Cream and Arugula
Israeli-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes are famed for using a blend of everyday and unique ingredients to achieve flavor-packed, tantalizing dishes that just so happen to be vegetable-centric. His mushroom “ragu” is no exception, blending fresh and dried mushrooms with carrots, tomatoes, and a concoction of marinades to create something that’s inexplicably meaty — without any meat at all.
We’ve taken direct inspiration from the Mushroom Ragu recipe in his book Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook and adapted it for cooking in your Ooni pizza oven. Not only does it make a delicious pasta sauce, it builds a standout base for a hearty ragu pizza. Add cream and arugula as toppings, and you’ve got a balanced pizza that’s great for quick weeknight dinners but also impressive for a weekend date night. It’s a bonus that the pizza is entirely plant-based, but if you’d prefer a bit of dairy, full-fat cream and grated pecorino romano will work in place of the vegetarian cream we’ve suggested below.
Notes: This recipe makes enough sauce for 4 pizzas, but you can reserve anything left over for use in pasta or rice dishes. We used plant-based cream to top this vegan pizza; however, you can choose a full milk cream if you prefer.
3 hours total
Makes four 12-inch pizzas
4x 250 gram pizza dough balls
For the mushroom ragu
1 large carrot, roughly chopped,
½ large yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1½ cups (150 grams) oyster, shiitake, or hedgehog mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup (60 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (35 grams) white miso paste
2 tablespoons (25 grams) harissa
2 tablespoons (28 grams) tomato purée
2 tablespoons (30 grams) tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
½ cup (40 grams) dried porcini mushrooms
⅔ cup (120 grams) green or brown lentils
3 tablespoons (50 grams) red wine
2¼ cups (500 grams) vegetable stock
¼ cup (80 grams) coconut cream, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
For the toppings
¾ cup (200 milliliters) plant-based cream (cashew, soy, or almond) or light dairy cream with 20% fat
7½ cups (150 grams) fresh rocket (arugula)
extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think a neo-Neapolitan pizza or sourdough pizza would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 570°F to 660°F (300°C to 350°C) on the baking stone inside.
In two batches, put the chopped carrot, onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until coarse. If you don’t have a food processor, chop everything as finely as possible.
Place the chopped vegetables into your baking dish. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, white miso paste, harissa, tomato purée, tamari and crushed cumin seeds. Mix everything until well combined. Finely chop the dried porcini mushrooms (or blend in the food processor), then mix in thoroughly to combine.
Place the baking dish inside the oven, right at the mouth. Cook for 15 minutes, turning the pan every 5 minutes to ensure an even bake.
Remove the pan and place on a heat-safe surface. Add the lentils, wine, stock and coconut cream. Mix thoroughly to combine. If the mix looks dry, add a half cup of water. Season with a good crack of black pepper and salt to taste. Place a sheet of foil over the pan and return to the mouth of the oven.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees every 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and rest for 15 minutes on a heat-proof surface. Remove the foil and stir thoroughly to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
Increase the temperature of the oven to between 840°F and 930°F (450°C and 500°C).
Place your dough ball on a lightly floured surface and work the air out from the center into the crust using your fingers. Stretch the dough ball out to 12 inches and lay it over your lightly floured peel. With a large spoon or ladle, place 4 heaped tablespoons of mushroom ragu in the center. Use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly over the base. Drizzle ¼ of the plant-based or dairy cream over the top.
Slide the pizza off the peel and into your oven. Cook for 2 minutes, turning the pizza every 20 seconds or so to ensure an even cook.
Remove the pizza and top with a handful of fresh rocket (arugula), finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, cut into 6 slices, and serve.