02 January, 2012

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza
  Like every year we're spending Christmas holidays with my husband's family who lives in Avellino, not far from Naples. And being here for two weeks it is hard to resist not eating pizza almost every day. My older daughter actually started complaining because she says we're eating too much pizza. But when you have such a possibility as to eat this good pizza, where even the worst pizza in town is hundred times superior to the best pizza back at home, how can you not to? The dough is just perfect, thin and soft, but slightly chewy, not crisp. Mozzarella is the very important part of the whole story, even when made with plain mozzarella, pizza tastes heavenly (it has nothing to do with that layer of plastic cheese you get elsewhere), and if you try it with mozzarella di buffala... you'll be speechless.
Seriously, no pizza made at home comes even close to the pizza they make here. And my dream is still to go to Naples before heading back to Modena, and finally see for myself one of the most famous pizzerias, Da Michele, where they say pizza is an ulterior experience. Even Elizabeth Gilbert mentions it in her book, Eat Pray Love. If she could go there and have a couple pizzas, I must, too. And if I do, you'll certainly know about it.

Since I don't like pizzas available in town where I actually live, the only alternative I have is to make it myself at home. I've tried different kinds of dough, and each of them has good and bad sides.
The dough in this recipe is particular because it's made with the addition of potatoes. They give such incredible softness to the dough.
I also chose a particular topping, "white", that is to say, without tomatoes, which is quite rare, because our favourite one is always Margherita, just tomatoes and mozzarella.
And with this home made version of pizza I'm wishing you a good start of 2012... and I'll go check if pizza is on our dinner menu, today  ^__^

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza
 Pizza dough with potatoes
 and Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza

Potato pizza dough:
(for 2 round pizzas)
300 g flour (I use Italian type "0")
125 g potatoes
12,5 g fresh yeast (or 3,5 g dry yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
1 TBspoon extra virgin olive oil

for Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza:
4 small zucchini
100 g pancetta or bacon
50 g Parmigiano cheese
1 mozzarella (125 g)
4 thyme sprigs
2-3 zucchini flowers
salt, pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Steam cook them for about 10 minutes until soft.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and the dry yeast (if using dry, if using the fresh yeast dissolve it in warm water), and the olive oil.
Mesh the hot potatoes with the potato ricer letting them fall directly into the bowl with the flour.
Adding the warm water bring everything together and knead on a floured surface to form smooth, elastic dough.
Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover and let rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
Drop the dough on a floured surface and divide it into two pieces.
Place each on a lightly oiled baking pan and flatten stretching it and pressing with your hands, in a way that the dough is thin in the middle and the border is slightly thicker.
If you have a pizza stone prepare the pizza as you usually do. You could also bake the pizza on a piece of parchment paper (sprinkled with flour or even better semolina flour) to have a similar, crispier bottom effect.

For the zucchini and pancetta pizza, toast the chopped pancetta (or bacon) in a dry frying pan. Transfer on a plate with a piece of kitchen paper to drain from the excess fat.
Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut off the edges and then slice them lenghtwise into 2-3 mm thick slices, then cut those in a way to obtain tiny sticks.
Place the zucchini into a bowl, add the fresh thyme leaves and the parmigiano cheese. Add the salt and pepper to your taste.
Distribute the pancetta over the dough first and top it with the zucchini and pieces of mozzarella cheese.
Bake the pizza in a really hot oven (the max. for mine is 250°C, hopefully, yours can reach higher temp.) for about 10 minutes and serve.

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza
Pasta per pizza con patate
 e Pizza con zucchine e pancetta

Pasta per pizza con patate:
(per 2 pizze tonde)
300 g farina tipo "0"
125 g patate
12,5 g lievito di birra fresco
1 cucchiaino raso di sale
1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine d'oliva

per pizza con zucchine e pancetta:
4 zucchine medie
100 g di pancetta tagliata a cubetti
50 g di parmigiano grattugiato o a scaglie
1 mozzarella (125 g)
4 rametti di timo fresco
2-3 fiori di zucchina (se disponibili)
sale, pape
olio EVO

Per la pasta: Pelate le patate, tagliatele a tocchetti e cuocetele a vapore per circa 10 minuti o finché morbide.
Mettete la farina setacciata in una ciotola, aggiungete le patate (calde) passate allo sciacciapatate, sale, olio e
il lievito sciolto in mezzo bicchiere d'acqua tiepida. Cominciate ad impastare aggiungendo altra acqua necessaria (circa 1 dl) per ottenere un'impasto morbido ma compatto. Lavorate la pasta per qualche minuto sulla spianatoia infarinata, e poi lasciatela riposare coperta per 2 ore.

Riprendete la pasta lievitata e dividetela in due parti. Con le mani stendete ogni pezzo di pasta su una teglia per pizza leggermente oleata.
Lavate, asciugate e spuntate le zucchine, tagliatele a bastoncini (tagliatele prima a fettine nel senso di lunghezza e poi a bastoncini).
Metete le zucchine in una ciotola, salatele e pepatele, aggiungete le foglioline di timo, un po' di olio e il parmigiano. Mescolate bene il tutto.
Tostate la pancetta in una padella, senza aggiungere grasso, finché croccante, e poi lasciatela qualche minuto sulla carta assorbente.
Distribuite la pancetta sulla pasta stesa e leggermente oleata, e sopra aggiungete le zucchine e qualche tocchetto di mozzarella. Se avete anche qualche fiore di zucchina, lavatelo con cura, togliendo il pistillo e aggiungetelo sulla pizza.

Cuocete le pizze nel forno già riscaldato a 250°C per circa 10 minuti.

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza
Tijesto za pizzu s krumpirom
 i Pizza s tikvicama i pancettom

(za 2 okrugle pizze)
*300 g brašna
*125 g krumpira
*12,5  g svježeg kvasca
*1 (ravna) žličica soli
*1 žlica maslinovog ulja

za Pizzu s tikvicama i pancettom:
*4 manje tikvice
*100 g pancette, narezane na kockice
*50 g krupno naribanog parmezana
*1 mozzarella (125 g)
*4 grančice timijana
*2-3 cvijeta tikvice
*sol, papar
*maslinovo ulje

Tijesto za pizzu:
Krumpir ogulite, narežite na komadiće i kuhajte na pari 10 minuta.
Prosijte brašno u zdjelu, u sredinu dodajte kroz tijesak protisnut (topao) krumpir, sol, ulje i kvasac otopljen u pola čaše mlake vode. Zamijesite sve sastojke dodajući postepeno još oko 1 dl mlake vode.
Mijesite tijesto na pobrašnjenoj radnoj površini dok ne postane glatko i meko. Ostavite tijesto da se diže na toplom, pokriveno čistom krpom ili plastičnom folijom oko 2 sata.
Podijelite tijesto na dva dijela i svaki rastanjite malo nauljenim rukama na nauljenom plehu na otprilike 1/2 cm debljine ostavljajući rubove malo deblje.

Za nadjev, operite i posušite tikvice. Odrežite im krajeve, a zatim ih prvo narežite na ploške debljine 2-3 mm (po dužini), a onda na štapiće. stavite ih u zdjelu i posolite i popaprite, začinite s malo ulja i listićima timijana, dodajte krupno naribani parmezan i sve izmiješajte.
Pancettu stavite u tavu (bez dodane masnoće) i popržite da bude malo hrskava. Premjestite je na par slojeva kuhinjskog papira da se ocijedi višak masnoće.
Rasporedite pancettu na tijesto, a preko nje tikvice i komadiće mozzarelle. Ako imate i cvjetova tikvice, operite ih, izvadite im tučak i dodajte ih povrh svega.
Premažite rubove pizze uljem i pecite je u dobro zagrijanoj pećnici (250°C), u donjem dijelu, 10-ak minuta.

Zucchini and Pancetta Pizza