Did you know that there is an International Pizza Expo held in Las Vegas, March 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center? Neither did I until a few weeks ago. They have seminars and exhibitors in all things pizza and pizza related. I don’t know about your family but my family LOVES pizza! Think of all those flavors and the gooey, stringy cheese melted on top! YUMMY!
Of course when I think of Las Vegas I think of the Flamingo Hotel. (click for link to Vegas.com/resorts) I still think of the facade from my childhood when I think of the hotel. Though the facade has changed greatly the bright pink lights and live flamingos still remain at the hotel.
Did you know that flamingos are actually born with gray feathers but turn pink in the wild from their diet of natural brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Though the shrimp on this pizza are not brined it is cooked with a hint of garlic to add even more flavor to this delicious pizza.
I created this pizza thinking of the bright pinks, bold reds and lush greens of the flamingo area at the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas.
This pizza has a tomato cream sauce that has a depth of flavor from the onions, tomatoes, basil, garlic and Parmesan cheese and a gorgeous bright color.
The pizza is then topped with mozzarella cheese and sprinkled with red and green diced peppers for a dash of color and flavor.
Add the garlic shrimp with fresh Parmesan cheese and once it is baked chiffonade the basil and sprinkle it liberally over the top of the homemade dish.
This is a pizza we will be repeating soon. The pizza had a great flavors that blended well together. The sauce and fresh basil were really the spotlight of the dish.
I served this pizza with a fresh spinach salad.
- 1 large homemade pizza crust or store crust
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup onion, diced
- 2 teaspoon garlic, minced (divided)
- 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 3 large tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
- 6 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 teaspoons+ dried basil
- 2 teaspoons+ oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 to 2/3 lb. shrimp, cleaned and thawed if frozen, tails removed
- 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
- 6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- basil, cut chiffonade (roll and then cut into strips)
- Preheat oven to 475 and if you are using a pizza stone preheat that first also. I recommend using a pizza stone dusted with corn meal but a rimmed baking sheet coated with oil will work too. Remove pizza stone from oven and allow to cool just slightly before using.
- Work pizza dough into a large circle to cover your pizza stone (or to fit your baking sheet).
- In a large skillet over medium heat begin cooking the onions with the olive oil. After about 5 minutes add 1 teaspoon of garlic to the pan and continue to cook onion and garlic stirring often. Cook onions for 6-8 minutes total, they will be translucent when ready and garlic will be fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes with juice to the pan. Stir well allowing the tomatoes to warm. Stir in 3 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste until fully incorporated into the sauce.
- Once mixture is hot add the cream cheese, stirring until all has been melted and blended together. Then add 3 oz. of the Parmesan cheese stirring until fully melted and blended.
- Add dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Taste sauce and adjust spices as needed to your liking. I tend to add more garlic and basil but those are the spices my family loves.
- Once sauce is to your liking spread 1 to 1 1/2 cups over the top of the pizza crust leaving a 1/2″ border all around the edge of the pizza.
- Sprinkle the top of the pizza with mozzarella, diced green peppers and diced red peppers.
- In a medium skillet melt butter. Add shrimp and remaining teaspoon of garlic to pan. Saute the shrimp until they are slightly pink and just starting to curl. Be careful not to over cook them or they will be chewy once they bake in the oven!
- Remove shrimp and garlic with a slotted spoon letting the butter remain in the skillet . Place shrimp over the top of the pizza.
- Sprinkle the pizza with 3 oz. of the remaining freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Place pizza in oven for 12-15 minutes or until pizza is brown on the bottom and starting to get bubbly on top.
- Remove pizza from oven and allow to rest 3-5 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle pizza with fresh basil before serving.