The night we first had this pizza, it was a small miracle I made dinner at all.  It had just been one of those days – you know, where you get off work a couple hours later than expected, sapped of all energy and motivation?  It was the kind of night that I might normally reflex to carry-out pizza anyway, but since this pizza was already on our menu, I considered powering through.  Reading Josie’s description of it as a wine-worthy pizza sold me, because what turns around a bad day better than pizza?  Pizza and wine.

My frustration persisted a little longer when I realized I was missing a couple of ingredients and needed to improvise a bit, but the glass of wine was already in hand and there was no turning back.  When we finally sat down to eat, the first bite reassured me that yes, this was absolutely the right decision.  This pizza is fabulous.  So fabulous, in fact, that it was back on the menu one short week later…always the sign of a winner in our house.  The fontina and mushrooms pair so well together, and I love the combination of both a mushroom pesto and sautéed mushrooms.  This was made with mushroom lovers in mind.  One thing to note is that the fontina and parmesan are naturally quite salty, so this is easy to over-salt.  I would recommend adding very little to no additional salt, and seasoning to taste when serving if necessary.

  • Yield 1 medium (12-14 inch) pizza


For the mushroom pesto:
5 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
¼ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
¼ cup very hot water
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

For the pizza:
8 oz. sliced mushrooms, preferably a variety
1 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
¼ cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
1 ball pizza dough
Olive oil
1½ cups shredded Fontina cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 01

    To make the mushroom pesto, preheat the oven to 450˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes.  For the last 10 minutes of baking, add the garlic cloves to the pan.

  • 02

    While the mushrooms are baking, soak the porcinis in the hot water for about 5 minutes.  Strain out the rehydrated mushrooms and reserve the liquid.

  • 03

    In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the roasted mushrooms, peeled garlic cloves, porcinis, shallot, thyme, parsley, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and reserved soaking liquid.  Process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Stir in the Parmesan.

  • 04

    To make the pizza, increase the oven temperature to 500˚ F and preheat a pizza stone.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté the mushrooms until browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant.  Stir in the wine and cook until almost completely evaporated.  Remove from the heat.

  • 05

    Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round.  Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil.  Spread the mushroom pesto over the crust in an even layer.  Top with the shredded cheeses and then layer with the sautéed mushrooms.

  • 06

    Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.