Russell writes, “This simple pizzetta is a variation on the classic Roman pizza bianca (not really a pizza at all, more like flatbread with olive oil, rosemary and salt). In this instance, it is better to use dense, cheap mozzarella rather than expensive, moist buffalo varieties. The cheaper stuff is very easy to grate and has less water content and therefore melts better.”
Fresh from the garden: red onion, thyme
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Russell Norman in the book of his restaurant Polpo
Makes: 12 pizzette
What to do:
- Preheat your oven to its highest setting: 250C. At the same time put a pizza stone or baking sheets in the oven to heat up.
- Divide the dough into 8 balls and then roll them into thin 20cm discs.Weigh and grate the cheeses and peel and thinly slice the red onion. Wash and pat the thyme dry then strip the leaves, discarding the stalks.
- Evenly distribute a handful of the cheeses, some onion and almost all of the thyme over each of the pizza bases. Be sparing – a little goes a long way. If you use too much topping, the base won’t be crisp enough.
- Remember that your pizza will benefit from being placed directly on to a hot baking sheet or pizza stone within a preheated oven. At 250C, yours will take about 6-8 minutes.
- Use this time to make the dough for the next class if needed.
- Just before serving, slice the pizzette into smaller pieces, grind on some pepper, sprinkle over a little olive oil and scatter over the remaining thyme leaves.
- Finally, please don’t worry about getting totally round and even bases for your pizzetta. In fact, it’s much better if they are not; you’ll get some lovely bubbling and occasional charring.
Notes: What does pizzetta bianca mean? What animal is mozzarella cheese from? Why do we place the pizza stone or baking tray in the oven to preheat?