Want to try something unusual and delicious? Mix up the cheese you throw on a homemade pizza and you’re in for some fresh flavor ideas.
I made this a few months ago for the first time and it came out great. I was inspired to make it when I found the killer ingredient at a winter farmer’s market near my house. That killer ingredient is hand-made stracciatella cheese, which I hadn’t ever seen in the U.S. and hadn’t eaten since I lived in Italy.
I’m lucky to have farmer’s markets year-round in Somerville, between Union Square, Davis Square, and the Armory, which is where I found this. Click here for a link to other places, including retail stores and farmer’s markets, where you can find fabulous cheeses by Fiore Di Nonno.
What is stracciatella?
Stracciatella is a stringy, sweet type of gourmet Italian cheese. Made from the very rich milk of water buffaloes, it is a soft member of Mozzarella cheese family. In Italian, “stracciatella” means “to shred,” and you’ll sometimes see this word used in the Roman egg-drop soup called Stracciatella alla Romana.
- Pizza dough (I pick up a ball at my local pizzeria for about $1, or you can try Trader Joe’s white and wheat varieties for about the same price).
- Fiore Di Nonno stracciatella cheese
- Fresh chopped tomatoes (not canned.) Try heirloom varieties at this time of year! They’re everywhere.
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Pecorino cheese, grated (if you don’t usually keep this handy, you really should. It costs the same as parmesan, but has a saltier, deeper flavor that enriches the compexity of how food tastes. And one block of pecorino lasts forever).
- Salt and pepper to taste (I don’t season this, but you certainly can)
1) On a floured surface such as a baking mat (I love this one from Crate and Barrel) roll out the dough into desired shape.
I cook pizza using a round non-stick pan, but you can also use a pizza stone or a plain old baking tray; just roll the dough out square. In fact, I’ve even used Pillsbury dough in the past, which rolls out square).
2) Lay dough onto baking pan, and sprinkle with olive oil and some fresh grated parmesan. Spread EVOO evenly atop dough.
3) Top with arugula and chopped tomatoes.
4) Spoon stracciatella on top of tomatoes and arugula, spacing evenly; add more arugula or tomatoes if you like.
5) Finish with grated parmesan and pecorino cheese, and pop in the oven!
Cook for 10-15 minutes at 400, or until brown at the edges. Adjust temp down depending on your oven (mine always needs to skew higher than most recipes call for).
Let cool, cut into slices and serve!