Monday, July 11, 2016

Pizza di Patate Dolci

When my husband set out to build a pizza oven, I was filled with nervous trepidation.  Would I be able to make a pizza worthy of the incredible piece of equipment set before me?  There were a hundred ways for me to screw it up and a narrow (90 seconds to be exact) margin for success.

Even though we did not buy a Forno Bravo oven and opted for the rival Chicago Brick Oven model, I did look to Forno Bravo's website for a Neapolitan pizza dough recipe.  I first tried the recipe with regular AP flour, assuming that the pies would essentially be throwaway. Surprisingly, the results were fantastic.  We sacrificed the first dough ball to the oven because that's what they said to do. That one went in un-topped.  We were pleased when it came out of the oven with the hallmark leopard spotting that is so desired in a wood fired pizza.  At that point we were ready to make some real pizza that we could actually eat.  I decided to make the gold standard for a wood fired oven, Pizza Margherita and since I had some rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes left over, I made a potato, onion and parmesean pie with besciamella sauce.

After our first batch of pizza ended up to actually be edible and not complete garbage, I broke out the big guns.  For the next batch, I used Marino Tipo 0 flour that my husband picked up when he was in Italy for work.  I didn't want to use my "good flour" for my maiden voyage.  The second round resulted in the following three pizzas - Marinara (lovingly styled after the spectacular marinara pie at Da Michele in Naples, but nowhere near as skillfully turned), Sweet Potato with Pancetta, Rosemary and Parmesan, and a Sausage and Pepperoni pie.

I am happy to say that these pizzas were all successful.  And while the more traditional pizzas tasted delicious, the oddball sweet potato pizza was killer. So delicious in fact that I am going to share the recipe in case you want to shake up your pizza routine a little.  There is no way to give exact amounts, so amounts given are somewhat approximated.  Pizza is assembled very much assembled by eye, feel and taste. Here are the ingredients:

1 275 gram ball of your favorite Neapolitan Style pizza dough -  Forno Bravo's is an excellent choice (here)
1 Large Sweet Potato
2 Teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/4 Teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 Oz pancetta cubed
1 Tablespoon Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
A drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Roast the sweet potato in a 350 degree preheated oven until it is soft.  Slit open and allow to cool slightly before scraping the insides into a bowl. Mash the potato with a pinch of salt and pepper and  2 teaspoons of olive oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Set aside in the refrigerator.  The potato topping should be completely cool before topping pizza.

Fry up the pancetta in a small frying pan until rendered and golden.  Drain on paper towels and set aside in the refrigerator.

Stretch the pizza dough and spread a thin layer of the potato mash on the pizza, not so thick as to weigh the pizza down, but not thin enough to see through. Add a light sprinkle of chopped rosemary across the pizza and scatter the pancetta on top.  Add a generous sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.  Top with shaved Parmigiano cheese and fire it up.

Unusual, but really delicious.

Here are some of the others...


Roasted Potato, Parmesean and Carmelized Onions over Besciamella 
Sausage and Pepperoni

For our next batch, I am going to order some Caputo 00 flour and see how the dough works out with that.  I have used it in the past with my Pizza Kettle and it turned out pretty good.  

Cheers for beers and pizza!


  1. Um....where did you say you lived again? I think I need to come over for dinner.

  2. Long Island, girl! A short plane ride from Chicago. Maybe I'll try my hand at some deep dish!