During our summer trip around Italy we could not miss tasting pizza. I admit that I didn’t feel any great anticipation – what on Earth can surprise you on a pizza? Boy, was I wrong – a surprise occurred in the town of Sirmione on the shores of Lake Garda. We ordered a pizza that was not prepared with traditional tomato sugo or cheese crust – but with zucchini pesto. This, visually and taste-wise unusual pizza impressed us so we decided to bring you our try on it.
The recipe for the dough itself is very simple and contains the following ingredients, for 2 larger or 3 smaller round pizzas.
- 500 g finely ground gluten-rich wheat flour, best type 00 (Italian farina di grano tenero tipo 00)
- 325 g of lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 g of salt
- 10 g fresh yeast
It is best to process the dough the day before we want to bake. First, the flour should be autolyzed with water – mix the flour and water until no dry spots remain. Leave about 2 tablespoons of water to stir the yeast. Let the base of the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to several hours, depending on how much time you have. This step will ensure that the gluten develops correctly and the dough will be beautifully elastic. Then mix the yeast with water into a paste and pour it to the base of the dough. Add salt and oil. Knead in a stand mixer or by hand, at least 8 minutes. Put the dough in an oiled plastic container and set aside for 24 hours in the refrigerator to rise.
The next day, take the dough out of the refrigerator, divide it into 2 to 3 parts and shape it into balls. Let them rest on the desk for about an hour to rise a little until we shape them into pizza. If even after an hour the dough could not be flattened and shaped, wait for a while longer until its structure gets more relaxed. Dust with coarse flour as needed and pull out and push with your hands into the shape of a pancake. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper, garnish and bake on a prewarmed pizza baking stone.
To prepare the pesto, cut a smaller zucchini into thin slices – about half a centimeter in thickness. Fry the slices on a dry pan or grill until they turn brown and soft.
Place the roasted slices in a blender together with olive oil, sea salt, balsamic vinegar, basil, and ground black pepper. Mix until smooth. Flavor to taste. Consistency should not be too thin or runny so it will stick to your pizza dough nicely.
Assembling the pizza
Cut the salumi and tear the Mozzarella di bufala with your hands into small pieces.
The next step is very simple – garnish the dough with a thick layer of pesto and cover it with sliced salumi and Mozzarella di bufala.
The pizza should be baked for a short time at the highest possible temperature. In your oven at hime, this may not be easy – as a rule, we preheat the oven to its maximum temperature together with a ceramic pizza stone. Place the pizza on a hot stone and bake for 5-10 minutes.
The cheese should be melted, the sausage should release the grease – and especially – the dough should be baked and browned from below.
The only thing left is to enjoy this original dish while it is still hot ?