This is one of my favorite pizzas in the world, and especially delicious in a cast-iron skillet.
I only had it for the first time in Alba, Piemonte (way northern Italy) when my dear friend Max took me to a local pizzeria with a beautiful terrazza on a warm spring evening.
I had ordered another pizza, maybe one with porcini mushrooms, but then a server walked by with this pizza for another customer. I hailed him over and asked him to kindly change my order once I said, What was that?? I want that!
Max was way too kind to tell me I was probably embarrassing him silly, although I believe I did well to express myself in Italian, come to think of it. J
I served this as an opener at a client’s Tapas Birthday Party one October, and one guest ate almost the entire thing. Then he was too full to enjoy the entire Tapas spread that followed, having rushed out of the gate too quickly, he confessed.
It’s that good, I promise you. I love eating it whole with a fork and knife, this pizza lends itself especially well to that classic Italian way of serving. If there’s more than one person for dinner, you’d do well to make smaller pizzas, one per person.
Everyone is going to want their own – that too is a promise.
Note: Read entire recipe, please, before beginning or even getting ready to begin. It’s written in stages of prep, and ingredients are not all listed at once.
Prosciutto & Arugula Pan Pizza
Prepare pizza dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + more to coat bowl
Place flour and salt in large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add oil and mix well.
Pour liquid over flour and combine by hand until mixture yields a soft ball of dough; add more flour or water in tiny portions if needed.
Take ball out of bowl, and coat bowl with olive oil.
Place dough ball back in bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in draft-free space for at least one hour.
Once dough has risen, begin to prepare pizza:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Prepare cast-iron skillet with a light coat of oil and light sprinkle of polenta/corn meal – this is optional but makes it easier to slide pizza from pan for serving.
Press pizza dough into prepared pan/skillet – for choice of thin or thick crust:
If you prefer thin-crust pizza, ½ the dough will be enough; press it thinly into the pan. Place remaining dough in zipper bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days for future use.
If you prefer thick-crust pizza, press the entire dough ball into the pan.
Prepare pizza for baking:
Up to 4 ripe, very red Roma tomatoes or other preferred tomatoes, sliced thinly
Sliced provolone cheese, as many or as few slices as you prefer
Top pizza dough with tomatoes, then cheese slices.
Place in preheated oven, bake for 25-28 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is lightly browned.
Prepare pizza for serving:
Up to 2 cups wild arugula
Up to ¼ lb thinly sliced Prosciutto
About 1 cup freshly grated Parmiaggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Gently remove pizza from pan onto large serving plate.
Top generously with arugula, then gently press pieces of prosciutto into the warm crust between arugula leaves.
Sprinkle generously with grated Parmiaggiano and twists of black pepper.
Cut into pieces as desired or share with forks and knives.
In Italy, this pizza would come to the table whole so … do as you wish but keep in mind … Quando in Roma … Quando in Alba ….