Handmade Pizza and Red Salad, per request
It is with tremendous joy and pleasure that I share my handmade pizza recipe. Having gently boasted (lol!) on Facebook about the 'pan pizza' prosciutto-arugula masterpiece I whipped up last night, some interest - even from Italy - popped up, so here we are. I will tell you what I did, I hope you will try it, and report back to me how that all worked out.
The recipe isn't really mine, it is an adaptation of Giada's but, maybe don't tell her. I tried making it last night for the first time with the fresh yeast I bought at Monsieur Marcel, and I think it's a keeper. I'd recommend using fresh yeast from now until forever! It's more likely they use it in Europe (and they probably think our dried yeast is a joke).
I also tried baking the pizza in my cast-iron skillet for the first time and, another keeper for certain. Up until now I've been using my well-seasoned metal baking sheets that I've had forever. I was about to throw them out until I visited Marche, Italy (see my friend Ashley's site for where to cook in Marche!). My incredibly lovely hosts made pizza after pizza after pizza one night for dinner, using their well-seasoned metal baking sheets...and each was more amazing than the next. (I had a pizza stone in another life but it broke one morning all over the kitchen floor when I was in a very very bad mood...whole separate story.)
I roast tomatoes for pizza by chopping tomatoes (even underripe ones will work, or cherry tomatoes that do not need to be chopped), placing them in a heavy ovenproof pan or skillet, drizzling them generously with extra-virgin olive oil, and roasting them for about 25 minutes in a 400F-degree oven. After that time, I pour in a little red wine and roast for 5 minutes more. Stir and press pieces gently to create a fresh sauce.
For this pizza last night I used grated Italian Bel Paese cheese (very mild and creamy) from Marcel. You can use any cheese you'd like. The ricotta or mozzarella from our new friends, cheesemakers Angelo and Franco would be sublime, also available at Marcel.
Now your pizza is ready to prepare, once you've made the dough with my recipe below.
Coat the bottom of whatever pan you're using with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with polenta (or cornmeal) to prevent sticking.
Roll or press pizza dough to desired thinness, and place in or on pan. Top with fresh roasted tomato sauce and cheese. Bake in preheated 400F-degree oven for 18-25 minutes. Crust will be browned on edges and cheese will be bubbly.
You can stop there if you'd like, but I topped mine with thinly sliced prosciutto and arugula, which is my favorite in Italy (well, besides porcini or Margherita or primavera or 4 stagione...).
If you hurry, Prosciutto di Parma is on sale at Marcel I believe through tomorrow, Friday - $15.98/lb instead of $22.
On the side of my pizza, I made a Red Salad of radicchio, grated beet, and red onion, tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. It all looked amazing on the plate, and when I have a good digital camera and more patience for posting fotos, you'll be the first to see them in a new gallery!
Handmade Pizza Dough
1 package yeast, stirred well into 2/3 cup warm water
OR, if using fresh yeast, use 2 tsp; stir into warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups all-purpose ﬂour
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp sugar
Additional olive oil
Stir olive oil into dissolved yeast. Combine ﬂour, salt, sugar in large bowl and make a well. Pour liquid into well and mix quickly and thoroughly by hand until ball is formed. Knead brieﬂy, then turn into clean bowl coated with olive oil. Place in warm, draft-free setting covered with cotton towel for at least one hour. Gently punch dough down before preparing pizza, or store in
plastic zipper bag in refrigerator. Yields about 1 pound of dough; usually enough for 2 pizzas.