As part two of a three part series, I hosted my second Lamb Supper Club dinner party last night. Sponsored by the Tri-Lamb Group, I was provided with all of the ingredients to make the supplied Lamb Pizza with Peppers and Arugula recipe. The point of these lamb suppers is to prove that lamb can be a great alternative to other proteins. Because I'm a huge fan of lamb and a firm believer that it deserves more attention, I got started on my pizza.
If you haven't worked much with lamb before, this recipe is a great way to get introduced. Ground lamb is exceptionally easy to work with and it cooks just as easily as any other ground beef, turkey or chicken would. It's got a taste similar to beef but it just has a bit more complexity to its flavor.
For this pizza, I added a couple of my own twists to the original recipe posted below, just because I happened to have some extra items on hand. I also doubled the amount of tomato paste used and added a touch of water so that the lamb would be more "saucy". Fresh basil was chopped and added at the last minutes and I also mixed the provided goat cheese with mozzarella cheese; more cheese is always better, I say.
When the pizza came out of the oven, I took a couple of pictures before it was devoured. The crust was hearty and the lamb was the predominant flavor, heightened by the tomato paste and herbs. The pickled pepperonchini peppers added a great tangy spice and the goat-mozzarella mixture helped to balance out all of the flavors while the arugula provided a nice freshness and subtle crunch.
If you haven't worked with lamb before, I encourage you to try your own version of this lamb pizza. It's easy enough to put together on a weeknight and just different enough to shake things up a bit. Of course this recipe would work with any number of ground meats and any combination of cheeses, but the ground lamb just adds that bit of something extra special.
Lamb Pizza with Peppers and Arugula
1 package premade whole grain pizza dough (about 1-pound)
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 pound ground lamb
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minched
1 TBS tomato paste (*I used 2 TBS)
1 TBS dried oregano (*I used half this amount)
* Added 2 TBS fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup pickled sliced pepperoncini peppers
3/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
* Added 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 cups arugula
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and spread the dough over the entire length of the baking sheet. Bake pizza dough for five minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat enough olive oil to coat the pan and add shallots and a pinch of salt. Sweat the shallots and add the garlic and heat until tender. Add the ground lamb and generously season with salt and pepper. Once the lamb is cooked, add the tomato paste, oregano and fresh basil. Add 1/4 cup of water to the lamb to create a thick sauce.
Brush the crust with olive oil and top with lamb mixture. Top with cheeses and pepperonchini. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust turns a deep brown. Remove from oven and top with arugula. Serve immediately.
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