There was a short article in Bon Appétit about pizza with white sauce, made with cream and herbs and, unexpectedly, lemon zest. Pizza is an easy sell for dinner in our household, so I tried this sauce. I changed it a bit because I didn’t have enough basil on hand and I didn’t want fennel fronds, but I did add a bit of fresh oregano. It was delicious, and the lemon zest really brightened it up! This makes enough sauce for three pizzas, and I used dough from the store because I didn’t want to bother making my own. I made one pizza with greens, as suggested, and two more with pepperoni, to please the children (and adults too, let’s admit it). I used two kinds of cheese: a high-moisture fresh mozzarella and a low-moisture grated parmesan. Everyone loved their pizzas!
What I really want to draw your attention to, though, is this: the fresh mozzarella I used was lactose-free. *cue angels singing* Amazing, right? I know it’s not always the case, and I wouldn’t ever assume a mozzarella pizza I haven’t made myself is lactose-free, but I looked at the nutrition label on this one, and it had 0 grams of sugar. And lactose is a sugar, ergo… no lactose. This tip works with cheeses in general: just look at the sugar content on the nutrition label. (The reverse isn’t always true. There are certainly foods that contain sugar and are still lactose-free, but then you can’t tell just from the nutrition label, and us lactose-intolerant folks don’t like to take any chances.) So even if you can’t get your hands on lactose-free cream, you can still have a pizza with fresh mozzarella!
2 cups lactose-free cream
½ cup chopped basil
¼ cup chopped fennel fronds
¼ cup chopped chives
1½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Purée cream, basil, fennel, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor or with an immersion blender until thick and creamy, 15–30 seconds; season with salt and pepper.
The sauce can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Use roughly 2/3 cup per pizza (the yield is about 2 cups, so enough for 3 pizzas). You can use homemade dough or raw storebought dough and bake the pizza for 5 minutes on a pizza stone in a 500 °F-oven, or use prebaked dough and just follow the instructions.