Yield: 6 to 8 servings
I always want pizza, so this is only a natural extension of that constant burning desire. Dips might be my third favorite food thing, after pizza and cheese. Soooo…that leads us here! This has a crust made of pizza dough balls, people. Mix in anything you like because this is YOUR pizza dip. I also like to serve this with toasted ciabatta for the extra dip.
1 pound pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2-1/2 cups whole-milk mozzarella, 1/4 cup reserved for top
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, 1/4 cup reserved for top
1/2 cup pizza sauce, store-bought or homemade
Two 3.5 ounces packages of pepperoni, 20 to 22 reserved for the top
3 to 4 large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter and pat into a rectangle. Cut the dough into approximately 1 tablespoon-size pieces and roll into balls. Roll in the olive oil, allowing the excess to drain off. Use the oil on your hands to oil some dough balls. Place the balls around the edge of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, keeping the center clear. Place the remaining balls in a second layer on top of the first layer of balls. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and very lightly golden.
Combine the cream cheese, ricotta, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and pizza sauce and stir until thoroughly combined. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Cut the pepperoni into thin strips and stir into dip. Spoon the mixture into the center of the skillet and arrange the reserved whole pepperoni on top. Bake for another 20 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese and pizza rolls are golden brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, or you will regret it! Sprinkle with the basil before serving.