Alina's Mushroom + Walnut Pesto Pizza on a Butternut Squash Crust

This post is inspired by one of the yummiest pizza restaurants in Madison: Cafe Porta Alba. I recently had a pizza there with a walnut puree sauce and my reaction was something akin to the entire Mormon tabernacle choir spontaneously breaking out in the hallelujah chorus in my head. Yep, that crazy good. Naturally, I wanted to replicate it at home. I mixed things up a little by setting the stage on a butternut squash crust that I found over at the diva-dish. This crust did not disappoint, and it ended up melding with the walnut and mushroom flavors perfectly! This was so much fun to make and easy enough that any dummy with a food processor could probably replicate it.

Thanks to the walnuts and cheese, this is a little fattier and higher in calories than the average post on this blog. Look for a veggie loaded version of this recipe in a future post. If you wanted to make this healthier you could certainly cut back more on the cheese to make this healthier or substitute something else for the cheese, but the fontina adds a great nutty flavor so I decided to keep it.

Approximate cost: $12. Makes 4 servings. 474 calories per serving.
Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 50 minutes

Butternut Squash Crust
  • Approximately 1 cup of pureed butternut squash (a little more than 1 cup is okay, but I wouldn't use any less than 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (to make it gluten free, you could also use coconut flour like
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Sliced mushrooms, sauteed on the stove until they turn color (I used cooking spray and sauteed them for about 5 minutes)
  • Approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of walnuts (I started with half a cup, but that wasn't enough, so I kept adding more until I got the quantity I wanted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of fontina cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic, finely minced

To make the crust, put all of the ingredients into a food processor with the dough blade in, like so:
Turn that sucker on. Let it go for awhile, occasionally stopping to push the ingredients off the sides. With a few minutes under its belt, it will go from this:

To this:
Delightful, doughy crust! If you start tasting the dough at this point the dough quantity will mysteriously drop significantly. Or at least that's what happened to me.

Now, roll the dough out. I cut it into a square using a pizza cutter and transferred it to a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray to keep it from sticking. I used the extra dough that I cut off to line the edges (I pinched it on, kind of like a pie crust). Now you're ready to make the walnut pesto!

Put the regular blade back into your food processor. Throw all the pesto ingredients in.
Whip those walnuts. Presto! You've got pesto!

Spread the pesto on the pizza, sprinkle the garlic over it, shred half the cheese over the pizza, add the mushrooms, and then shred the remaining cheese over the top of that. This pizza isn't meant to be suuuuper cheesy, so don't go too crazy with the cheese. Here it is, waiting for the oven to preheat to 400 degrees:
Bake it for 20-25 minutes until the crust is just starting to turn golden brown. This is what it looks like fresh out of the oven. My lesson learned? Get your picture fast, because it won't last long.
Adam is the official pizza cutting person in our family, so I let him do the honors.
Enjoy your walnut pesto and mushroom butternut squash pizza!

Adam’s taste rating: 4 ladles
Brad’s taste rating: 2 ladles
Healthy rating: 3 ladles
Ease of prep rating: 4 ladles
Overall average: 3.25 ladles


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