by Neal Rosenthal
As a tasty vehicle for showcasing some of my favorite pantry staples (sun-dried tomatoes, caper berries, cherry tomatoes and Agrumi or Eucalyptus honey), here is a simple recipe for turning out a crowd-pleaser of a pizza.
First, roll out the pizza dough (I am not supplying the recipe for the dough; there are many choices available from a multitude of sources; at our home, Kerry does the dough preparation and we like a fairly thin crust pizza but with enough body to support the ingredients while keeping the center crust dry and enough dough to form a puffy, crisp ring around the body of the pizza).
Once rolled out, drizzle some Armato “S-ciappa” Extra Virgin Olive Oil in drops on the dough and spread it out so that it covers the entire surface but don’t use too much … just enough to have a delicate layer of oil on top of the dough; then, I like to use a cheese like Taleggio on the base of the pie, cutting the cheese into thin strips that will ultimately melt and form a lovely home in which the other ingredients will play; if you want a less forceful cheese, use Mozzarella perhaps but I sometimes top the pizza with the mozzarella to make a two-cheese pie.
Then, place the sun-dried tomatoes in a nice sun-burst pattern on top of the cheese; strategically dot the capers in and around and on the cheese/tomato base; sprinkle aromatic herbs (the Armato “Erbe Aromaticche is a wonderful addition, i.e .dried oregano) and hot pepper flakes (again, the Armato “Peperoncino”), add a layer of thinly sliced Mozzarella to top it off; and, bless the pie with an array of the cherry tomatoes (“Ciliegini”) which will make a beautiful color counterpoint to the white of the second layer of cheese.
Place on pizza stone or steel in an oven pre-heated to 550 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes; check to see if the pie is done by lifting and observing the nice char on the bottom of the pie … if it’s there and the other ingredients are nicely bubbling, take it out of the oven and gently pour a teaspoon or more of the Eucalyptus or Agrumi honey from Bianco over the pie to add a sweet and aromatic note which will marry beautifully with the spices and herbs that are already infused into the flavors of this repast.