Zucchini Flower Pizza
I’ve made several versions of pizza on this blog, pizza, like pasta, is a subject and food that I will never tire of. A good friend of mine has opened a few pizza a taglio spots in New York and I am dying to take a trip up there to try it out. Lucky for us Neapolitan pizza has become popular in Charleston and there are a few places that make a decent pizza here, but the pizza a metro, pizza a taglio and pizza rustica has not gained in popularity. It may not have taken off in New York until Alberto arrived, turning his back on his Neapolitan roots and making a pizza that is typically Roman.
We found zucchini flowers at the farmers market the other day and decided to make a pizza with ricotta, anchovies and smoked mozzarella. Zucchini flowers and anchovies are frequently paired together in Italy, especially on pizza. The pizza a taglio places all over Rome usually have a variation on this pizza, zucchini flowers are so easy to find there, all year round.
Zucchini Flower Pizza
- basic pizza dough (recipe below)
- 6-8 zucchini flower, torn into strips
- 1 can of anchovies, about 10 whole anchovies
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 1-2 cups of smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 450° at least 30 minutes prior to baking the pizza.
Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape. Cover first with the ricotta, spreading it over the dough, place the anchovies about 2 inches apart from each other, you don’t want them to be too overpowering on the pizza. Top with zucchini flowers and then with the smoked mozzarella. Bake on top of a cookie sheet or a very hot pizza stone. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking frequently, when the pizza is golden in color and starting to bubble it is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
Basic Pizza Dough from Naples at Table, Cooking in Campania
- 1 envelope dried yeast (2½ tsp)
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup warm water
- (We added a tsp of sugar to the dough, gives something to the yeast to feed on)
In a 2-cup glass measure, with a table fork, dissolve the yeast in the 1 cup of warm water. Stir in ½ cup of flour, cover with a clean dishtowel and let it stand until the mixture foams up to about double – to 2 cups – about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine 3½ cups of the flour with the salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and the remaining ½ cup of warm water. Stir until the dough masses together. Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead, folding and turning the dough onto itself, then pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand, about 10 to 12 minutes, adding, little by little, just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Be careful not to add too much flour or too much at one time. When you have finished, the dough should not stick to the board; it should be smooth, silken, slightly damp on the surface, and very elastic. Dust the dough lightly all over with flour and place in a bowl to rise, covered with a clean dishtowel, for about 1 hour, or until it has slightly more than doubled in bulk.