Weeknight Cooking

Speck + Arugula Pizza for a Virtual Dinner Party

May  7, 2013

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: An impromptu pizza, and a virtual dinner party to celebrate Caroline's new book!

speck arugula pizza

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I came up with this recipe a few years ago in the springtime, and it resulted in one of the most memorable impromptu dinner parties I’ve ever hosted. One of my best friends, Gillian, had come over to learn to make quiche that afternoon and we were having such a giggly, silly time that we wanted to have dinner together.

Minutes later, she was on the phone to her now husband as I searched the freezer for what I had to feed this growing group. Pizza dough inspired confidence and a quick run to the store for some fresh ingredients. We came back with a handful of favorite toppings -- a few cured meats and olives, and a pound of soft cheeses -- and our upstairs neighbors as dinner guests.

This is one of the recipes we made that night. Six of us ate off of paper plates and mindlessly wiped our sweaty beers and brows as we sat in the living room, hot like summer from the cranked oven in the other room.

My cookbook, Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals hits bookstore shelves today. (This recipe is in it.) To celebrate it, I’ve organized a virtual potluck with a few blogger friends: each of them is bringing a recipe of mine from the book to their blogs to share with you as our guests! I hope you’ll click around and see what they brought to the table. While you’re taking a look around, keep an eye out for giveaways for my cookbook!

What’s at the table:

Cacio e Pepe from Matt at Matt Bites
Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Pea Salad from Catherine at Weelicious
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
from Sarah at Edible Living
Mustard Greens and Paneer in Indian Spices from Joseph at Gastronomer’s Guide
Steak with Herb Sauce and Buttered Radishes from Olga at Sassy Radish
Celery Root Rosti from Tara at Seven Spoons
Speck and Arugula Pizza
from Caroline at Food52
Pasta Handkerchiefs with Broccoli Rabe + Ricotta from Lauren at Devour
The book’s story and welcome from Caroline at The Wright Recipes

Speck + Arugula Pizza

Serves 4

Cornmeal, for dusting
1 pound pizza dough
2 medium tomatoes, cored and crushed
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, pulled apart
Just before serving, scatter with 2 cups baby arugula and 3 ounces thinly sliced speck
Olive oil, for serving
Sea salt, for serving

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photos by Caroline Wright

Read More:
Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough
No-Fuss Entertaining: 6 Pizza Recipes
How to Stretch Pizza Dough


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  • Susige
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


Susige May 7, 2013
Celery Root Rosti and Pasta Handkerchief links are broken. Thanks.
Kristen M. May 7, 2013
Sorry about that -- the links should be there now!