I love pizza. My background is fine dining, so I have made and had my share of fancy pizzas. And I love them, but I also love the local greasy pizza. I try not to compare the two, because they are just so different.
At home, I like to top my pizza with seasonal goodies. The crust is a simple focaccia dough, stretched to fit a half sheet pan.
The recipe is:
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups AP flour
Combine all ingredients, holding back some flour to add as needed. Knead until smooth, not sticky. Let rise in a greased bowl, covered for 2 -3 hours, until doubled in bulk. Cover a half sheet pan with olive oil. Stretch dough into prepared pan. Let rise while preparing the toppings.
Tonight, we are having a pesto pizza, with pancetta, corn and cherry tomatoes.
I needed to harvest some of the basil, so I made a big batch of pesto. I will use some tonight, and freeze the rest in ice cube trays for later.
- 12 cups basil leaves
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 8 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 cup parmesan
I blanched the basil leaves in boiling water, then, into an ice water. I drained them, and pureed them in a blender with the oils and the garlic. I transferred the pesto into a bowl, and stirred in parmesan. If you taste the pesto at this point, it will taste quite garlicky, but this will fade, particularly with cooking and/or freezing.
I made pancetta a couple of months ago, when I bought a half hog from a local rancher. I rendered the pancetta slowly over medium-low heat until crispy, poured off some of the fat, and sauteed up the corn in it. Harvested some cherry tomatoes from the backyard, cut them in half, and I was ready to go. Assembled the pizza, crust, pesto, mozzarella, corn, pancetta and cherry tomatoes. Baked it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.
It was lovely, this combo is a keeper.