Roman pizza is usually fantastic. Thin, crispy, made in a wood-fired oven (forno a legna), with few but good quality toppings. That, with a cold beer on a sticky summer evening, is sheer perfection. We get takeaway pizza now and then from the pizzeria up the road, with a couple suppli (deepfried balls of risotto) tucked into a bag that get disturbingly greasy in the three minutes it takes to walk home. Perfect with some trashy TV.
But this was a rainy Saturday, we were home all day with plenty of time, so home-made pizza it was. I had been thinking of a potato/rosemary pizza, maybe with blue cheese? But the blue cheese is buried somewhere in the freezer, so we ended up making a sourdough pizza with potato, rosemary, salsiccia and avocado. Not very Roman, but delicious.
Sourdough Pizza Dough recipe (makes two oven-tray size pizzas)
120g lively sourdough starter (100% hydration)
1 ½ cups tepid water
100g wholewheat flour
350g plain flour
1 tsp salt
Mix everything together, let rest in covered bowl for a few hours until you are ready for dinner.
Getting hungry? Hopefully your dough (though a bit hurried) has been rising. When you start preparing the toppings, turn the oven on to 250C, so it gets properly hot, and put a baking sheet in so it heats up as well. Tip the dough out onto a floured counter, and knead a bit. Add more flour if it looks sticky. Divide dough into two parts, and using a rolling pin (or wine bottle) to roll each part out to a baking sheet sized rectangle. I did the end rolling directly on baking paper.
Before baking …… and after.
Pizza with potato, rosemary, salsiccia and avocado
One portion sourdough pizza dough, see above
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
350g raw potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 sliced salsiccie (fresh sausages, about 300g)
300g grated plain cheese
Smoked salt and pepper
For serving: One avocado, peeled and sliced
Gently fry the chopped onion and garlic, just to soften it. Remove from pan, and fry the salsiccie for a few minutes. Ours gave off a lot of grease, and you don’t want a soggy pizza. I cut them again with scissors, to be sure they were cooked through and could divide the sausage nicely across the pizza. Pour the grease off the cooked sausages (but not down your drain) so it cools and can be disposed of.
At the same time, in a saucepan with a little water, boil the sliced and peeled potatoes for a few minutes. Drain them. (You might have leftover cooked potatoes? That would be fine as well.) Chop the rosemary.
Ready to assemble? Distribute the onion and garlic across the two pizza bases. Then add half the grated cheese, all the potato slices and chopped rosemary, then the sausage pieces. Finish off with the rest of the grated cheese. Some freshly grated pepper and salt to finish. I used
smoked salt on one, which was really tasty.
Slide paper with pizza dough and toppings onto baking sheet (careful! It will be very hot!) and bake 10-12 min at 250C until it looks done. Take out first pizza, slide it onto chopping board. Add avocado slices, slice pizza and enjoy! Repeat with second pizza.