Pizza quattro stagioni
With tomatoes and fresh mozzarella as the customary backdrop, this pizza has a melding of flavors that represent each season. The tomatoes symbolize summer, the mushrooms depict autumn, the intense flavors of prosciutto and salami characterize winter, and the delicate artichokes evoke spring. This is a lyrical pizza with a harmony of tastes.
Portions: Make one 9-inch pizza; Serves 1 or 2
- 2 cremini mushrooms, wiped or brushed clean, stems trimmed, sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 portion (9-5 ounce) Neapolitan pizza dough, at room temperature
- Caputo flour for dusting
- 1/4 cup salsa semplice
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella di bufala or fior di latte, squeezed gently to release moisture, sliced, then drained on paper towels
- 3 thin slices (about 1 1/2 ounces) prosciutto di Parma
- 4 thin slices (about 3/4 ounce) genoa salami
- 1/4 cup thickly sliced marinated artichoke hearts, well drained
Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and place a baking stone on the rack. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Have ready a pizza peel. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer in a small baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Roast until deep brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Remove the dough from the plastic bag, keeping the smooth top side facing up. Place it on a lightly floured work surface and lightly dust the dough with flour. Using your fingertips (but not your nails), press down on the dough to flatten it and push it outward into a larger circle. Flip the dough over and repeat on the other side, and then flip the dough back over. (You always want the smooth side up). Thinking of the circle of dough as a clock face, make a fist with your left hand and place it firmly at the 9 o’clock position, about 1 inch in from the edge (this will keep the edge of the dough slightly thicker). Place your right hand at the 3 o’clock position, putting your thumb on top of the dough and your other fingers underneath. Lift the dough and stretch it a bit. Move the dough a one-eighth turn and repeat. Continue until you have evenly stretched the dough into a 9-inch circle with slightly thicker edges. Dust the pizza peel generously with flour. Using your hands and working quickly, lift and transfer the dough to the pizza peel. Give the peel a few shakes back and forth to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. To top the pizza: Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the slices of mozzarella in a single layer over the sauce. Distribute the mushroom slices evenly over the top. Arrange the prosciutto and salami evenly over the mushrooms and scatter the artichoke slices over the top. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the pizza. Give the peel another gentle shake back and forth just to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Slide the dough from the peel onto the baking stone using a quick jerking motion with your arm. (Work quickly to slide the pizza into the oven and close the door so the oven temperature doesn’t drop too much). Bake the pizza until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the pizza into wedges, or leave whole to be eaten folded in quarters, and serve immediately.