Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pizza Primavera

Pizza con Cimi di Rapa, Pancetta, Ricotta, Ajvar e Olive

Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon, Ricotta, Ajvar and Olives

For want of a better name, I called this blog entry "Pizza Primavera" or " Springtime Pizza", because it is indeed a pizza and it is also officially the first day of Spring- is that good enough for you? The fact of the matter is, that I couldn't think of a nicer way to describe a pizza with a broccoli rabe topping like this and with the cheese-curd and ricotta on there too- it deserves a special kind of name- don't you think?

I somehow didn't think that the slightly bitter broccoli rabe would go well with a tomato sauce, so I came up with the bright idea of using Ajvar- spicy and tangy, to compliment the greens- and a little creamy cheese curd mixed with salted ricotta gave a little mildness to the whole thing. Maybe not very traditionally Italian- but red, white and green nevertheless!

So here we go- and this is a time for straight talking. It is a weekday night and you have been at the office for 9-10 hours. You might possibly want to start messing around with flour and yeast and start kneading a dough. And I would applaud you- I would. But I would also applaud you if you did what I did and used a store-bought pizza dough on the roll. Seriously- life is too short to be exaggerating with every single little aspect of your food being home made. As long as you are putting good, fresh and healthy ingredients onto your pizza, I would say that the dough is the least important aspect of this dish. After all- making a wonderful home-made dough and then putting on a load of fatty cheese, salami or worse kind-of defeats the point! End of rant- on with the fun!

I had to do a tiny bit of prep-work nonetheless for this- but it was all done in 5 minutes! In the time it took to steam the broccoli rabe, I de-stoned the olives, grated some salted ricotta cheese and browned a little finely chopped bacon in a dry frying pan. Easy! Next step was assembly time!

I crushed a clove of garlic and mixed it together with 2 tablespoons of low-fat cheese curds and 1 tablespoon of grated salted ricotta cheese. I added a little pepper, nutmeg and a tiny drop of olive oil. That was topping number one finished. Number two went straight from the jar onto the pastry dough- Ajvar! 1 heaped tablespoon was enough- spread evenly over the pastry, it gives a nice tangy base for the other ingredients- and they went on next. First, a few blobs of the cream cheese mix here and there and then the broccoli rabe, which of course I also spread out evenly. Next came the olives which I also distributed evenly and then came the bacon bits which I sprinkled all over. I gave a final seasoning of freshly ground pepper, a sprinkle of caraway seeds and a little more nutmeg and popped my pizza into a pre-heated oven at 450° for 10-15 minutes, until it was crispy and brown. Your oven may need a little more or less time- just make sure to have a high heat and be close at hand! And as soon as it's ready- get it while it's hot! And buon apetito!

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