The rich and sweet pork taste and buttery texture of prosciutto juxtaposed with the tart sweetness of blackberries combined with a layer of arugula tossed with a roasted garlic olive oil create the main flavors for this pie. Oven roasted tomatoes baked with creamy burrata cheese is mixed with parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) to create a sweet, smoky, salty and and creamy base. As a final garnish toasted pine nuts are added for an extra layer of complexity. This is a pizza of decadence and extravagance and brings together wonderful flavors of italy into an unforgettable pizza. A word of caution though, attempting this pizza is not for the faint at heart. Given the expensive ingredients and the time involved make sure you have mastered the techniques of handling and baking a pizza on a stone before attempting this. When you do attempt this I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Thanks to @emilydovi for the suggestion of blackberries as opposed to ultra thin slices of melon.
Yield: 1- 14-16″ thin crust pizza
Portions: 2 -3
- 1 neapolitan style pizza dough
- 3 roma/plum tomatoes
- 1 ball burrata cheese (about 250g)
- 50g parmesan cheese, coarsely shredded
- 1 handful of arugula (eruca sativa) (30g)
- 8 blackberries
- 1.5 tablespoons pine nuts (10g)
- 1 large clove garlic (or 2 small)
- Various Mixing Bowls
- Digital Kitchen Scale
- Baking Steel / Baking Stone
- Wooden Pizza Peel
- 13×18” Baking Sheet Pan
- Chef Knife
- Large Wooden Cutting Board
- Box Grater
- Smooth Mortar & Pestle
- Aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
Preparing The Ingredients
- Make neapolitan pizza dough as per instructions; this can be done the day before or several hours earlier. After bulk fermentation of the dough and at point you have about 1.5 hours until you are ready to bake. Final shaping of the dough ball can be done now with enough time to allow it to proof while doing everything below / allowing pizza stone to preheat.
- Preheat oven with baking steel / stone on the 2nd from top rack to 375°F (190°c).
- Slice the top tip off of your garlic clove (non root side), place cut side up in aluminum foil. Put about 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil over the cut portion and a small pinch of salt. Close up aluminum foil and place in oven (with cut side up) and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. This is roasting the garlic to give it a sweet and milder garlic taste.
- Slice the three roma tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place on sheet of parchment paper as close together as possible. (Save the top and bottoms of the tomatoes). Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake with the garlic for the last 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Using the top and bottom of the tomatoes cut into small cubes and toss with balsamic vinegar and salt and let sit to marinate.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Stir about every minute until golden. About 6-9 minutes. You can also put them in the oven in a small pan / ramekin for about 10 minutes. Keep a watch on them as they burn easily.
- Once everything has been removed from the oven set to 550°F (288°C) or the highest possible temperature. Oven should preheat at this temperature for 45 minutes minimum before starting step #12. Remove prosciutto from the refrigerator so it is at room temperature when we will need to use it later.
- Slice eight blackberries in half and set aside.
- Unwrap the garlic which should be a golden color and squeeze out from the skin. Cut off the bottom root. Mash together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a spoon/bowl or a mortar and pestle. Allow the garlic and oil to sit together for a bit, eventually it will be tossed together with the arugula.
- Shred parmesan cheese using the coarse side of a box grater. With a large spoon in a bowl mix well with burrata cheese until a fully combined consistency. Keep in refrigerator until ready for use.
- Ensure 45 minutes has elapsed since step #7 before continuing. The baking steel / stone takes longer to heat than does the air in the oven.
Shaping and Topping the Pizza
- Lightly flour (with semolina flour or white flour) the surface of a pizza peel and the smooth top of your dough.
- Turn the dough ball top side /smooth side down without deflating it onto the pizza peel. Using your fist press down the center creating a flat inside with a nice even ring on the outside of dough. Continue to press down the center until you have expanded the size of the dough some and have a nice perfect ring for the crust with an evenly flat inside bottom crust.
- Pick up the dough from the bottom. Add a light dusting of flour to the peel where the dough was.
- To stretch the pizza dough, lift it from the board and, with two fists placed on the flat underside move one hand and then the other in a clockwise (or counter clockwise) fashion as if you were boxing. This allows gravity to stretch the dough out.
- Once stretched to about 13 – 14″ lay back down on the pizza peel. Crack the oven door slightly and turn the oven on to a high broil setting. This turns on the top broiler coils. If your oven doesn’t have a top broiler leave at the highest temperature possible.
- Arrange tomato slices evenly around the dough and add the burrata cheese / parmesan cheese mixture. Then add the balsamic marinated tomatoes. Give the pizza peel a quick jiggle to ensure no sticking.
Cooking the Pizza
- When the boiler coils are on and glowing bright red use the pizza peel at a slight angle touching close to the back of the stone and give the peel a slight jiggle to start the pizza sliding down toward the stone. Once the edge of the pizza has touched the stone keep jiggling and pulling the peel back until the whole pizza is on the stone. Shut the oven door and turn the oven back to bake at a temperature of 550°F (288°C). (What is happening is the stone is hot and the coils right above are still hot radiating heat directly to the top to give the crust a big pop of heat to start the cooking process and more closely simulate the way a pizza oven heats.
- Arrange slices of prosciutto as pictured below and sliced blackberries. Put the pizza in the oven, turned off. It will only be in there twenty seconds. We aren’t wanting to cook the prosciutto and blackberries but just allow them to warm slightly. Remove pizza … at 20 seconds, otherwise the prosciutto will dry out and be tough.
- Quickly toss the arugula and roasted garlic olive oil mixture together (if you want you can mix this together while the pizza is cooking) and add to the top of the pizza along with the toasted pine nuts.
- Allow the pizza to sit and rest for about a minute before cutting to allow the burrata cheese to set otherwise when cut it will run off the sides of the pizza slices.
- Enjoy and leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
In The Making Photos