In Italy there are wood fired ovens everywhere. The pizzas cooked in the old style ovens are truly amazing. The crust is toasty and brittle, and there's a layer of smokiness that permeates the cheese and toppings.
Here in Italiafornia, I'm using the next best thing. A Weber of course! Let's all sing along while we create an Old Country pizza pie. Turn up the volume and sing for your supper! Here we go.
You'll need some
- pizza dough (home made or store bought)
- olive oil
- tomato sauce
- cheese (goat, mozzarella, parmesan, whatever you prefer)
- diced veggie toppings like fresh basil, olives, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, dried tomatoes, roasted peppers....
- meat toppings, sausage, pepperoni, salami, cooked bacon
For my pizza I used just about everything listed and whatever else was in my refrigerator. It's a great way to use up leftovers and bits and bites from last night's dinner. Half jars of olives, capers, an end of cheese, a couple of chicken legs... throw it all in the mix. Have each diner choose their own toppings and create their own signature pizza.
I bought my dough at the market, two wads about the size of bocci balls, and I divided each in half. This worked out to be enough for four 10" personal size pizzas.
the dough prep
Do this first so it can rest while you prepare the toppings. Be sure the dough is at room temperature and nice and relaxed before you begin. Tear four pieces of parchment paper off a roll, about 12" x 12". Pat, roll, and cajole each ball of dough into a thin circle on a piece of parchment. I coat my hands, and the dough with olive oil while working. Put these aside while you prepare the toppings. You can stack them to save space.
Have your tomato sauce ready to go in a bowl with a ladle or spoon,. Place some olive oil and brush in another small bowl. Slice, shred or grate the cheeses and have these on a plate along with any other toppings. Be sure its all ready to go because you've got to be ready to work quickly.
Rev up the grill to a medium high heat. Take a circle of dough, still on it's paper, and flip it onto the grill and peel back the paper. It should come off easily because of the olive oil. Cover the grill and wait a couple of minutes. Peek inside. If there are bubbles formed in the dough then its time to flip them over. Use a couple of spatulas and over they go. Here's the fast and furious part. Brush the dough with olive oil, ladle and spread some sauce, add the cheese and toppings and boom! down goes the lid. Wait about 2-3 minutes and peek again. If the cheese is all melted its done. Repeat with each pizza.
These are so yummy. The smoky flavor mixed with the cheese and crispy crust...mmm, mm, mm. That's amore.
Grilled pizza would be a great basis for a patio party with each guest preparing their own. Add a big green salad, chianti, and some great Italian music.