For some reason pizza Bianca, or white pizza, doesn’t seem to have taken off here in the UK. Even so, before I was vegan it was one of my favourites. This probably stems from my obsessive love of cheese. As you can probably guess, pizza Bianca is traditionally laden with different types of cheese and doesn’t have tomato sauce, hence the name*. It has taken me until now, however, to create a vegan version of this delicious dish and I’m so glad I did.
I used the pizza base recipe from my Tempeh Bacon and Roasted Garlic Pizza, but you can use any pizza base you like. The base is smothered in a generous helping of tofu-based creamy garlic sauce. I used firm tofu as it was all I had to hand. Silken tofu should also work, though you may not need to add any non-dairy milk to the sauce. The pizza is then topped with vegan mozzarella, asparagus and basil. The tofu sauce and mozzarella give the pizza Bianca its rich creaminess that you’ll be craving for days afterward, while the asparagus and basil add a little colour as well as a gorgeous flavour accent.
I must admit, as I was making this pizza I wasn’t sure it was going to live up to my vision for the recipe. Let’s face it, a pizza topped with multiple different types of Italian cheeses is a lot to live up to. I was pleasantly surprised (read: absolutely ecstatic) when I took my first bite. It really is beautiful!
*Pizza Bianca can also refer to a flatbread without cheese or sauce which is apparently a popular Roman street food, or so Google tells me anyway. I’ve never tried it, but it looks seriously yum.
This recipe is shared with Plant-Based Potluck Party and Recipe of the Week.
Pizza Bianca with Asparagus and Basil
For the sauce: 400g tofu
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp white miso
½ tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 tbsp non-dairy milk
½ quantity pizza dough from this recipe, or enough of any pizza base to make one large pizza
Olive oil spray
A little polenta, for sprinkling
200g vegan mozzarella style cheese, sliced
100g approx. asparagus tips, halved lengthways
10-12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade*
*To cut basil leaves chiffonade, pile the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar and thinly slice.
- To make the sauce, blend all the ingredients except the milk in a blender or food processor. Add the milk a little at a time as needed to make a thick, smooth sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 190oC/gas mark 5/375oF. Lightly spray a large rectangular baking tray with olive oil and sprinkle with polenta.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to form a large rectangle that will fit snugly into your baking tray. Place the pizza base in the tray and stretch out the edges to fit the tray neatly.
- Spread about ¾ of the tofu sauce evenly onto the pizza base, leaving about a 1/2” border. Top with ‘mozzarella’ slices, then arrange the asparagus spears in a lattice shape on top. Sprinkle over the basil, then place splodges of the remaining sauce randomly all over the pizza.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the sauce is golden.