For all the years we've been making pizza, the Italian Combo always seems to be the crowd favorite (and Linda's.) And for good reason. It is a classic. A quick search on the Internet reveals that pepperoni is the favorite topping in America, so call us crazy because we no longer put pepperoni on our classic Italian Combo Grilled Pizza.
We prefer salami, and not just any salami, nitrate-free (or cured in the traditional manner) is numero uno in our ratings. If you would like a mini primer about curing meats and nitrates, visit ZMO Journal. Speciality cured meat shops are popping up around the country and are worth the time and effort to seek out.
Fresh vegetables, some more than others, in particular, mushrooms and bell peppers, release a lot of water during cooking. Maximize flavor by roasting red bell peppers or caramelizing yellow onions which, by the way, are both excellent additions to the Italian Combo, just like accessorizing another classic, the little black dress, with earrings and a string of pearls.
Italian Combo Grilled Pizza
1 ball fresh pizza dough (300 grams)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oilAbout 1/2 cup tomato pizza sauce
2 Tbsps parmesan, finely grated
About 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
8-10 slices Fratelli Beretta® or Applegate Farms® Nitrate-Free Sliced Genoa Salami (available at Whole Foods Market)
2 chicken, beef or pork Italian sausages, removed from casings, crumbled and fried
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
10 kalamata or black olives of your choice, pitted, sliced or crushed with fingers
Red chili flakes for garnish
1. Prep toppings and mushrooms: To a warmed skillet, add a little olive oil, place the cleaned and sliced mushrooms, and roast over medium high heat, stirring every so often, until the mushrooms give up their moisture and are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from pan; let cool.Drain and discard any accumulated liquid.
|Cooked vegetables release a lot of liquid.|
4. Remove dough ball from container and let the dough stretch out into a disc on the top of your hands. Begin moving the dough around, stretching and pulling into a circle, careful not to touch the rim. When it is thin in the center and about six or eight inches in diameter, place on floured work surface.
5. Continue pushing dough outwards with palms and fingers so it is thin on the bottom, and has a nice rim of crust around the circumference. Transfer to pizza peel.
|Smear fresh tomato sauce over the oiled crust; sprinkle on grated parmesan and mozzarella.|
We are partial to salami on pizza, rather than the more popular pepperoni.
|We were rather generous with the toppings; you may prefer a more sparsely populated pizza.|
|A little more cheese for the top. |
Fresh mozzarella that is drained and lightly salted is an excellent choice.
P.S. This pizza rewarms nicely the next day, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
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