This week’s recipe by pizza enthusiast Elana Iaciofano rekindled my love for making pizza at home. Even though I made Elana’s Roasted Chestnut and Pyrénées Brebis Pizza with the wrong cheeses, I used a new flour that was amazing and that I felt totally compensated for my cheese error. (I’m a total convert now and will never use supermarket huge-batch flour again!) It wasn’t gummy, and it didn’t get hard after a few minutes out of the oven. I know that Elana’s pizzas usually have a flatter crust and look more “rustic,” but having used a new flour, it was also a new experience. My advice when you try this: Don’t worry if you can’t find the right cheese for your pizza; just think about balancing whatever cheese you choose with the sweeter honey that will be added. If you like sweet, go in that direction. If you like the contrast of flavors, lean that way. But whatever you do, try it! You’ll love it. (And spring for the absolute best flour you can find. You won’t regret it!) — Kristina
About Elana: Elena is a creative director/graphic designer and food photographer working in New York City. She and her brother started their food blog, John and Elana Talk about Food, as a labor of love . . . for Italian food, specifically pizza. You can find all manner of kitchen experiments, food reviews, photos and sibling antics on the blog, and they welcome new readers (just bring your own safety glasses).
- 1 whole wheat pizza dough (Click on the link for Elana’s pizza dough recipe. To make whole wheat dough, substitute 1/2 the amount of flour with whole wheat flour.)
- coarsely chopped roasted chestnuts
- Pyrénées Brebis cheese, cut into small cubes
- grated Pecorino Foglie di Noce
- fresh rosemary
- extra virgin olive oil
1. Stretch out your pizza dough on a cornmeal-sprinkled peel.
2. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and rub it around the circumference of the dough.
3. Slice the Pyrénées Brebis cheese and arrange it on top of the dough. Sprinkle the roasted chestnuts on top of the cheese and drizzle some honey over the whole enterprise. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.
4. Ease it into the oven, and await a bubbly, toasty masterpiece.
5. Remove it from the oven and garnish with fresh chopped rosemary and grated Pecorino.
In my opinion, pizza is a versatile food. It’s adaptable to what’s available, what’s seasonal and also how you’re feeling. At this time of year, I’m usually looking for an excuse to roast chestnuts. Working them into my favorite food — pizza — seems like the obvious choice.
Roasted chestnuts are soft and meaty. They need a bit of punch from a saltier cheese to round them out. A Pyrénées brebis or a pecorino (foglie di noce variety, if you can find it!) add a salty dimension and melt nicely in the oven. Drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and fresh rosemary, this pizza is a veritable cheese plate of a dish.