Ricotta, fig & walnut pesto pizza

It’s fig season, y’all! And the weather is getting colder so I have an excuse to eat pizza (like I don’t have one otherwise).

Ricotta, fig & walnut pesto pizza

This is not exactly a recipe. It’s more of a conversation.

I come from a country where a pizza is considered better the more ingredients it has. Margherita? That’s meh. But if you add ham, bacon, mushrooms, sour cream, onion, chili peppers, sausage, gouda, ketchup, tuna, and bell peppers, now THAT’s tasty.

Italians will probably tell you a pizza should deliver good taste with as few ingredients as possible. That’s also the philosophy behind this recipe.

(I don’t know what would actual Italians say about it, but a coworker’s Italian wife saw the photos of my pizza the other day and told me it looks good. So, yay, me!)

Ricotta, fig & walnut pesto pizza


250g ricotta cheese

4 small to medium figs

two handfuls (30-40g) fresh basil, leaves + stems

1 tablespoon salt

a good grind of black pepper

60 grams shelled walnuts

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 slices prosciutto, cut into strips

Put the pizza dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and preheat the oven to 200º Celsius. Fold 0,5 mm of the edges of the dough inwards for a crunchier outer rim.

In a food processor, blend the basil and walnuts. Add salt and pepper, and gradually add olive oil. The consistency should be creamy (make sure it's not dry) but not too oily. During cooking, the pizza will absorb some of the olive oil from the pesto. You do want that, but you want to avoid it being too oily.

Spread ricotta over the pizza crust. Top it with streaks of walnut pesto. Cut figs in thin slices, discarding the stems and the bottoms, and put them over your pizza.

Cook the pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Proscuitto is by no means obligatory. But if I'm planning to top the pizza with it, I like to remove it from the oven three minutes earlier, add the prosciutto and put it back into the oven to finish cooking. That way the fat from prosciutto will slightly soften and the flavors intertwine.

If there's leftover pesto (and there might be), you can save it for later it by transferring it into a small jar or bowl and pouring some good quality olive oil over it. This way you can keep it in the fridge for weeks, it will stay green! (Just don't forget to add more olive oil on top of it next time you eat it.)