Pizzette two ways

all-purpose flour, 5 cups
yeast, 1 package
water (warm), 1/3 cup
sugar, 1 teaspoon
water (room temperature), 2 cups
salt, 2 teaspoons
olive oil, 2 tablespoons

topping for pizzetta margherita (enough for 3 pizzette)

mozzarella di bufala, fresh, sliced, 12 ounces
cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped in halves or quarters, 1.5 cups
balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon (optional)
garlic, crushed and finely chopped, 3-4 cloves
fresh basil, torn or coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup
olive oil, 6 tablespoons
coarse sea salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

topping for pizzetta with caramelized onions, mushroom and prosciutto (enough for 3 pizzette)

Vidalia onion, thinly sliced with a mandoline
mushrooms, wild or shiitake and baby bella, coarsely chopped, 1.5 cups
balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons
prosciutto, thinly sliced, about 4 ounces
olive oil, 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons
butter, 1 tablespoon
raw sugar, 2 tablespoons
baby arugula, 3 cups
lemon juice, 1/2 cup
coarse sea salt, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
maple pepper, 1 teaspoon (optional)
mozzarella, shredded, 8 ounces
fontina, shredded, 8 ounces
asiago fresco, shredded (optional)

6 individual pizzette

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar.
2. Mix all ingredients (including yeast) with a wooden spoon.
3. Knead dough into a soft, tacky ball (adding more room-temperature water or flour if needed).
4. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours (but up to 3-4 hours is okay). Dough should double in size.
5. Start preparing toppings (those below or others of your choice) while the dough is rising.
6. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Heat a pizza stone or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
7. Flour the stone or parchment.
8. Divide dough into six balls.
9. Roll and stretch each into an oval shape.
10. Spread each pizzetta with one tablespoon of olive oil (more or less as needed to completely cover with a very thin layer). Use a spoon.

10. Soften garlic in three tablespoons of olive oil. Allow to cool.
11. Season 1/2 inch slices of fresh mozzarella and chopped tomatoes with sea salt and pepper.
12. Marinate mozzarella and tomatoes with basil in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce (if desired) for 15-20 minutes.
13. Arrange slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil over top of three pizzette.
14. Bake at 425˚F for about 20 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese melted.

caramelized onions, mushrooms and prosciutto

15. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan.
16. Add thinly sliced onions and stir until soft and translucent.
17. Add sugar and continue to stir until sugar is melted and gently caramelized. Set aside.
18. In the same pan, sauté mushrooms and balsamic vinegar (with an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed) over medium heat until soft. Add to bowl with onions.
19. Wipe pan with a clean cloth. Crisp prosciutto over high heat.
20. Allow crispy prosciutto to cool and then crumble. Set aside.
21. Spread mushrooms and onions over three pizzette. Top with shredded mozzarella and fontina, as much as desired.
22. Bake pizzette at 425˚F for about 20 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese melted.
23. Immediately top with crumbled prosciutto.
24. While pizzette is cooling to serving temperature, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and maple pepper (if available).
25. Toss arugula with dressing and season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper as desired.
26. Top pizzette with fresh arugula; alternatively, cut pizzetta into slices and place a bowl of arugula on the table with small tongs to top each piece individually (this is a good option if some people are skeptical of fresh greens on their pizza, or if you have made enough for leftovers, since the pizzette freeze well without the arugula).

the story
What's up with this
sticky stretchy stuff?
I love pizza, especially homemade pizza. It's very possible to make pizza into a relatively healthy dinner when you are in control of all the ingredients. Topping with fresh arugula has been one of my favorite ways to go since my mom starting doing it a few years ago; this particular incarnation was conjured up last night when I was desperate from an alternative to the margherita variations that I'd already had twice in the past few weeks. The margherita version here is my own; I like to marinate my tomatoes in balsamic before using them in pizza and fresh tomato sauces. The Worcestershire sauce alternative was suggested by my friend Lauren when we were in medical school several years ago.

Family make-your-own pizzette night.
January 2014. 

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