Heaven on Crust: prosciutto, arugula and parmesan pizza

This, my friends, is pizza the way it was meant to be:

Prosciutto Arugula Parmigiano Pizza

I first tried this delicious combination in a small trattoria in Turino Italy.

The crust was thin, crispy and warm. The flavors and textures of the uncooked toppings mixed PERFECTLY together: paper-thin slices of rich, salty prosciutto, generous shavings of parmigiano-reggiano, crisp, peppery arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper.

If I’m ever lucky enough to see a similar menu item stateside, I plead with my fellow diners to split it with me. Most people aren’t into it. Maybe the arugula and prosciutto turns them off. Or the fact that this isn’t anything close to what we Americanos think of as pizza. If you people only knew what you were missing!

Last night, while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I noticed pre-made pizza dough (for just $1.19!), prosciutto, parmesan cheese and arugula ALL IN THE SAME AISLE! Coincidence? I think not! OK, so the place is pretty tiny. But never mind that. I HAD to make this pizza.

Pizza dough


Parmesan shavings

Prosciutto, Arugula and Parmesan Pizza

You’ll need:

pizza dough (Trader Joe’s dough is awesome and cheap)

parmesan cheese, thinly shaved/sliced


extra-virgin olive oil


fresh ground pepper

First I prepared the dough. My first job was at Domino’s Pizza—I know what I’m doing here. The trick is to take the dough ball and press your fingers around edge while stretching it slightly with the other hand to form a crust. Keep the center dome-ish for now, like this:

Forming a crust with Pizza dough

Making a pizza crust

Then slap the dough between your hands to stretch it. Try a spinning toss if you’re feeling lucky. If the prospect of dropping your dough or ripping it in two makes you nervous, you can always roll it out with a rolling pin. But that’s not really my style.

Get the crust as thin as possible. Mine came out a little too thick for my liking. Come to think of it, a rolling pin may be just the trick. Darn.

Put the crust (hold your horses on the toppings) in a 475-degree oven on a sheet of tinfoil or a pizza stone. I purposely left my sheet pan out of the equation (it prevents cookies and the like from burning on the bottom), because I wanted a super crispy crust.

Once in the oven, my pizza crust ballooned without any toppings to keep it in check. I poked holes in it with toothpicks. Crisis averted. Try poking your dough with a fork before you put it in the oven.

When the crust was hard enough, I placed it directly on the oven rack for an extra crispy crust. I think it was in for about 15 minutes total, maybe a little less. Take it out when it looks like this:

Cooked Crust

Notice the conspicuous toothpick pricks? Now comes the fun part.

First, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil.

Crust with olive oil

Now pile on your prosciutto.

Crust with prosciutto

Then comes the arugula.

Crust with Arugula

Sprinkle your parm shavings.

Parmesan crust

Now for one last drizzle of olive oil and a few turns of the pepper grinder.

Prosciutto Arugula Parmesan pizza

The marbling of the prosciutto makes this one a little difficult to cut, but it is SO worth the extra work.

Arugula Parmesan Prosciutto Pizza


  • Oh, my. This is the pizza I had in Italy. Exactly. Awwwww, now I miss Italy. This looks awesome. I have a pizza stone. I have yeast and flour and water. I have prosciutto. I have Parmesan. Olive oil? OF COURSE! Rocket? I can get it.

    Excuse me while I go make a pizza.

  • September 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm //

    after reading this it looked so amazing that i went to TJ’s and got all the ingredients and im going to make it tonight so i hope it turns out as good as urs :) ill let you know!

  • I love Trader Joe’s pizza crust! I just made a pizza with it last night, but my ingredients weren’t as gourmet as yours. By the way, do you remember when we had pizza making night during our San Diego spring break trip? Pizza Dance!!


  • they serve this pizza at a place in Houston and Austin TX called Tony Mandolas and I LOVE IT! They put a tiny bit of lemon juice on too. thanks! that crust looks great! we don’t have a TJ’s (yet).

  • I made this at home and it was wonderful! I used the Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough (which I think is better than the regular dough any day.) I found that the prosciutto gives it a sweet savory flavor, the parmesan a tangy salty flavor, and the arugula adds a wonderful crunch. I’m going to try rubbing the dry crust with a garlic clove next time to kick it up a notch.

  • First off, I am a pizza snob. Napoletana style pizza is the best. This is an amazing combination of ingredients that really become more than the sum of the parts.

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