St. Patrick’s Day Pesto Shamrock Pizza
The shamrock is a universal symbol for Ireland, and it can be seen just about everywhere, from the rugby union to the national airline. The word “shamrock” derives from the Irish seamróg, which means "young clover.” Since the 18th century, it has steadily grown in the country’s cultural significance — much like the English rose and Scottish thistle. To celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, we’ve created a unique shamrock-shaped pizza, upon which the toppings reflect the colours of the Irish flag: vivid green pesto, sweet orange Sungold tomatoes, and dollops of creamy white ricotta.
For this recipe, you may want to use our handy shamrock template to help create your base. It’s easy to do: Just print, assemble the pages under a large sheet of parchment paper, then tape them down to hold them in place. Dust the parchment paper with flour, and you’ll have a food-friendly surface on which to stretch and shape your dough. To start, stretch out your base as you usually would, then make a series of small incisions to pull out the 3 leaves and curved stem. For additional guidance, you can check out our video here.
Note: This recipe is for one pizza, but the pesto will serve approximately 4 to 6 more. If you’re not using it immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
1 hour active time, excluding dough prep
one shamrock pizza
one 250-gram pizza dough ball
For the pesto
70 grams pine nuts
70 grams grated parmesan cheese
180 grams extra-virgin olive oil
60 grams fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the topping
60 grams ricotta
4 Sungold tomatoes, halved
40 grams grated Parmesan
4 grams chilli oil, for drizzling (optional)
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think classic pizza dough, New York-style or neo-Neapolitan would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before heating up your oven.
Fire up your oven, aiming for 450°C to 500°C on the baking stone inside. Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.
Blend all of the pesto ingredients together using a food processor, smoothie maker, or stick blender. Once the consistency is smooth and thick, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a sealed container and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
If using the template, place the two halves together to form a heart. Place a large sheet of parchment paper over the design and tape down the corners to hold them in place. Lightly dust with flour.
Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Gently push the air from the center out to the edge using your fingers. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch-round base.
Use a dough scraper or scissors to cut into the dough at 2, 5, 7, and 10 o’clock intervals, stopping about 2 inches from the center. Use your thumb and fingers to first shape the three clovers, then the stem at the bottom by pinching and carefully pulling the dough into a longer, thinner curved shape. Check out this helpful video for reference
Once you’re satisfied, transfer the dough to a lightly floured peel, adjusting the shape if needed.
With a large spoon, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh pesto evenly over the shamrock-shaped base, leaving ½ inch of room for the crust. Depending on how thick your “stalk” is, feel free to leave this plain. (It’ll make for a great dipping utensil.) Add ricotta in teaspoon-sized dollops, then evenly distribute the tomatoes, flat side down.
Slide the pizza off the peel and into the oven, taking extra care as the shape is unusual. Cook for 60 to 90 seconds, turning the pizza regularly to ensure an even bake.
Once cooked, remove the pizza and top with grated Parmesan. For a little extra flourish, finish with a drizzle of chilli oil if you like.. To serve, slice each shamrock leaf in half.