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How To Cheese A White Pizza

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Homemade white pies can be hard to pull off. Without the refreshing acid of crushed tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and ricotta can become too heavy to handle. Sprinkle on more cheese for flavor, and you’re looking at a white pie coma.

Arizona pizza king Chris Bianco describes exactly how to balance white pies’ richness in his first cookbook, Bianco. When making his signature white pie, the Pizza Biancoverde, Bianco combines pliant mozzarella, sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, and creamy ricotta with peppery arugula to create a light, fresh pie. “This pie is all about the subtle textural differences among the cheeses, which underscores the differences in their flavors,” he says.

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The cut of each cheese is extremely important because heat transforms its texture. Tearing mozzarella into cubes causes it to melt into chewy shreds, and using the large holes of a box grater for Parmesan (as opposed to finely grating it) keeps it from toughening up. You can’t cut ricotta, but plopping too much onto the dough can not only overwhelm it but also make it sag. Bianco uses a teaspoon to create substantial but not overly creamy bites.

Bianco combines a pretty traditional cheese trio, but his attention to shape and placement can transfer to any number of white pies. We've gathered 12 of our very best for you to try:

White Pizza with Ricotta, Yogurt, Tomatoes, and Basil
White Pizza with Ricotta, Yogurt, Tomatoes, and Basil
Speedy Romeo's Grilled Pizza with Marinated Tomatoes & Ricotta
Speedy Romeo's Grilled Pizza with Marinated Tomatoes & Ricotta
Broccoli Rabe, Potato and Rosemary Pizza

Broccoli Rabe, Potato and Rosemary Pizza by TasteFood

Pantry Pissaladière

Pantry Pissaladière by Nicholas Day

White Clam Pizza

White Clam Pizza by mrslarkin

Glazed Shallot, Walnut, Sage, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Glazed Shallot, Walnut, Sage, and Goat Cheese Pizza by creamtea

Salad Pizza
Salad Pizza
Deep Dish Skillet White Pizza with Roasted Garlic, Broccoli Rabe, and Bechamel
Deep Dish Skillet White Pizza with Roasted Garlic, Broccoli Rabe, and Bechamel
Cacio e Pepe Pizza with Roasted Radishes

Cacio e Pepe Pizza with Roasted Radishes by fiveandspice

Savory Apple Tart Flambée

Savory Apple Tart Flambée by Alexandra Stafford

White Potato Pizza

White Potato Pizza by melissav

Leek, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza

Leek, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza by Savour

What are your favorite toppings for white pies? Do you think they're too rich?

Tags: white pie, white pizza, ricotta, mozzarella, parmigian