Sometimes a topping combination is so obvious it just begs you to try it on pizza. This pie is topped generously with pistachios and garlic; the mortadella goes mostly underneath the mozzarella so it warms up more than cooks. The edges of the mortadella that are directly exposed to the heat–since it is not completely covered by the cheese–get a nice crisp. The contrast of textures makes for good eating. While mortadella’s hometown is Bologna in Italy, excellent American mortadellas are being made by Framani in Berkeley, California, and Olympia Provisions here in Portland. Go to your favorite dell counter and get a normal, sandwich-slice thickness of mortadella. If you want to try a different cheese than the fior di latte mozzarella, try a soft, unaged Asiago fresco.
This pie is more suitable for Neapolitan-style crust (although you can try New York-style, too) than thin crust Roman because of the weight of the toppings.
- 1 dough ball
- 25 grams (3 tabtespoons) shelted pistachios
- 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- Extra-virgin otive oil
- 10 to 15 grams (scant 1/4 cup) grated ParmigianoReggiano or Grana Padano cheese
- 75 grams (2 ½ ounces) deli-sticed mortadetta, cut into bite-size 1-inch strips
- 12o grams (4 ounces) fresh whole-milk mozzaretta cheese or Asiago fresco, sliced
- Freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
- If you use a dough recipe that calls for refrigeration, remove your dough ball from the refrigerator about 6o to 9o minutes before baking pizza. Put your pizza steel or stone on an upper rack in your oven no more than 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to 55o°F (290°C) for 45 minutes.
- Crush the pistachios into chunks–not a powder-with a mortar and pestle (or with whatever crushing tool you have handy in your kitchen). In a small bowl, mix the pistachios with the chopped garlic and enough olive oil to coat and mix together by hand. Set aside.
- Set up your pizza assembly station. Give yourself about 2 feet of width on the countertop. Moderately flour the work surface. Position your wooden peel next to the floured area and dust it lightly with flour. Have the olive oil, cheeses, mortadella, pistachiogarlic mixture, and pepper at hand. Switch the oven to broil 10 minutes before loading the pizza.
- To shape the pizza, put the dough ball on the floured work surface and flip to coat both sides moderatelywith flour. Use the shaping method shown on pages 92 to 95. Transfer the disk of pizza dough to the peel. Run your hands around the perimeter to relax it and work out the kinks.
- Drizzle about ½-tablespoon of olive oil over the disk of dough, then sprinkle on the grated ParmigianoReggiano. Cover the grated cheese with the mortadella strips, then with the mozzarella slices, and top it by spreading over the pistachio-garlic mixture with your fingers. Turn off the broiler, then gently slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. Close the oven door and change the oven setting to bake at 55o°F (290°C). Bake for 5 minutes, until the rim is golden.
- Change the oven setting from bake to broil and let the pizza cook until the cheese is softly melted and the crust is golden with spots of brown and a few small spots of char, about 2 minutes (check it after 1 minute to be safe). Use tongs or a fork to slide the pizza from the pizza steel or stone onto a large plate, then season with pepper. Serve whole or sliced.
- We grilled this for five minutes on a pizza stone in a Weber gas BBQ. I preheated the stone and the BBQ for 25 minutes. We turned on the oven broiler 10 minutes before putting the pizza on the BBQ. We then broiled it for 2 minutes after the pizza cooked for five minutes on the BBQ.
- Source: The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish