I have said it before and I will always repeat it. There is nothing like cooking with your son what it’s something that you both have a passion for. Tonight, we made homemade Spinach Foggia pizza. Never heard of Spinach Foggia pizza? Then you never went to Prince’s on the Park in the 80s and 90s or didn’t look in Harris Teeter’s frozen pizza aisles.
Spinach Foggia pizza was a creation from Mike Prince when he owned Prince’s on the Park which for those in Winston-Salem, now, it was where The Tap sets now in the West End. It was a pizza parlor/sandwich shop/wing joint that had the best pizzas in town, the best baked wings and the best sausage sub. It was a creaky old place and it was run down. That wasn’t Mike’s fault it was the building owners’ and one of the reasons why they closed down. Their signature item though was the Spinach Foggia pizza.
As you may guess, it has spinach. Yep, great leafy green goodness on a pizza. I hadn’t ever heard of that at the time. In addition to the spinach, it had mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano, garlic and olive oil with mozzarella cheese. If you notice, there was no “sauce.” On this pizza, it was just the ingredients; the olive oil made it “sauce,” from what I remember. In addition to making it in the restaurant, Mike put it in stores. It was mostly Harris Teeter and Golden Apple (a high-end grocery store that was ahead of its time, which closed in 2016). I will be honest, I never had it in the stores. But, I had it plenty of times in the shop.
So, when I was looking for something for our Thursday night menu on Sunday, I decided to do my own version of this. I had never made it before and I was excited to do so. So, Trey, my 16-year old son, and I modified it up a bit.
Another pizza that Prince’s made was a White Lightning pizza. I don’t know what that was exactly but it was made with a white sauce instead of red sauce. So, I kind of wanted to mix the two ideas. Also, I don’t like pizzas without some kind of meat on it so we got some loosely packaged Italian sausage and sauteed it to put on the pizza.
We started by making our own dough, adding honey to sweeten it a bit.
My son made the white sauce. He melted 2tbsp of butter and put 4 cloves of minced garlic in there, sauteeing them before adding 3tbsp of all-purpose flour, ¼tsp each of salt, black pepper and oregano, whisking it until mixed. He then added a ½cup of heavy cream (we should have used whole milk instead but it still tasted great). Letting it set up, he added ½cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. It was a little thicker than we wanted but that’s where the milk would have made a difference. But, again, the flavor was great.
So, for the pizza, we spread out the dough on a pizza tin, spread a little cornmeal over it, and spread the white sauce. We put a little olive oil over it. We thinly sliced a tomato and cut the slices in half. We placed them around the pizza, followed by baby bella mushrooms. I didn’t put garlic on the pizza because it was already in the white sauce. We spread the sausage and put freshly chopped oregano and basil on the pizza. We then covered the pizza in freshly grated mozzarella cheese. We popped it into a 500° oven for around 15-17 minutes.
We were both very pleased with the outcome. The dough wasn’t overdone or underdone. The ingredients worked well together and it was quite a filling pie. It was really good.
I believe it was extra good because I did it with my son. I hope you try it and I hope you have great success with it. I thank Mike Prince for introducing me to that delicious pizza all those years ago. I am also glad that I got to do my own modified version, again, with my son.
I do apologize that the picture isn’t up to my usual standard, but I was kind of “off the clock” and it is what it is.