SPECK & ROCKET PIZZA WITH RED ONION & BLACK OLIVE TAPENADE

This is a smoky, salty pizza,with peppery rocket and some sweet red onion.The speck provides the smokiness, and the olive tapenade the salt. I like using two types of cheese if I’m going all out, melting the mozzarella in the oven, then adding some salty parmesan in amongst the rocket at the very end. You can pile the rocket and herbs up in one corner as a kind of ‘salad’ for people to arrange as they please, or sprinkle it evenly over the top. The flavours are all quite bold, but I think  the pizza base is the perfect foil. If ever I needed a vessel for getting prosciutto from table to mouth, a thin and chewy pizza base is the dream answer. Add half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes to the passata or some finely chopped fresh chilli for some extra heat.

 

INGREDIENTS

Makes one 30cm pizza, or two of half that size

  • 1 quantity pizza dough (see method)
  • 1 quantity passata (see method)
  • FOR THE TOPPINGS
  • 3 slices prosciutto di speck
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 125g mozzarella, roughly torn
  • 35g Kalamata olive tapenade
  • handful of rocket
  • scant handful of basil
  • Parmesan shavings
  • salt and black pepper

METHOD

TIMING NOTE: ideally make your dough at least 12  hours or the night before you want to use it. The passata takes about an hour, and should also be made in advance if you are going to make it from scratch. 

Preheat your oven to 250°C/gas 9, or the hottest setting on your oven. Place your pizza stone in the oven while it is heating up. If using a baking tray instead, then line it with baking parchment or dust with semolina flour.

Shape your pizza dough into a base by stretching it out in the air using your hands, or you can stretch it and then prod it out with your fingers on a work surface liberally floured with semolina. Alternatively, you can shape it straight on to your baking tray if you’re not using a pizza stone. The crust can be slightly thicker, but keep the base thin to achieve that chewy texture.

Spread your passata over the dough. Add the speck, red onion, and dot the mozzarella and olive tapenade on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the pizza in the oven. If you’re using a hot, wood-fired oven it may only take 3-4 minutes to cook. If you’re baking in a kitchen oven it will take 7-10 minutes. Sprinkle the rocket, basil and Parmesan shavings over it to serve.

Picture copyright of Jonathan Gregson