Pepperoni with chile
This is my all-time favorite pizza. I love the chewiness of the pepperoni and also the heat that comes from the chile in it. There is a classic Italian combination that combines chile and mint and I really wanted to see what that was like on a pizza, so I tried it with the pepperoni and discovered it works great. The buffalo mozzarella adds a wonderful creaminess to the pizza that ties it all together. If you want to keep it simple, by all means omit the mint, but do me a favor and try it at least once.
Portions: Makes one 12-inch round pizza. Serves 1–2
- Semolina or all-purpose flour, for rolling
- 6 oz pizza dough (see p 15) 1/3 cup pizza sauce (see p 19)
- 1 garlic confit clove (see p 20), crushed
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, torn, + 1/2 oz extra, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 Roma tomato, sliced thinly into 8 slices
- 12 slices large pepperoni or 30 slices small pepperoni
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 large mint leaves, optional
- Pinch of dried chile flakes, optional
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) or to its highest temperature. Once it has reached the temperature, it will then take about 15 minutes for the pizza stone to heat up. Lightly dust a clean work surface with semolina or flour, then roll out the dough into a 12-inch round that is 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the pizza base onto a piece of parchment paper; this is necessary for transferring the assembled pizza to the heated pizza stone. Prick the pizza base all over with a fork. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the pizza base, and spread the garlic confit over the top. Scatter over the shredded mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, and parsley. Place the tomato and pepperoni slices around the pizza evenly and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Cook the pizza in the oven for 5–10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven using a pizza peel or wide spatula and transfer to a cutting board. Scatter over the mint leaves, if using, and extra buffalo mozzarella pieces. Sprinkle with dried chile flakes, if desired, and serve.