Friday, June 19, 2009

Prosciutto and Cacio di Roma Pizza

So now that I've become accustomed to the brick oven pizza set up....making pizza is once again an exciting and creative endeavor, and I'm having fun inventing new pizzas. This week at Whole Foods, cacio di roma cheese was on sale at a serious discount. If this is a new cheese to you, check it out. It is sheep's milk, creamy and tangy; the cheese is produced traditionally in Lazio, and is considered a "table" cheese since it is ubiquitous in Central and Southern Italy. It is semi-firm like mozzarella, and so good for melting with pasta, on a pizza, but is also good for snacking with jam. The tang is very specific, yet does not offend.

So, a couple ounces of cacio di roma. What else....big surprise...beer-melized onions! Yes I probably overuse these in my panini and pizza...but they are sooooo gooooood. And different every time depending on what beer I use. They make such a good base for a pizze bianche (white pizzas...i.e. no red sauce). The reason they make a good base is not just their tangy taste, but the evaporated beer makes them into almost an onion jam, and they spread so well on the pizza dough, and have just enough juiciness.

Alright...a very present, but not overpowering tangy sheep's milk cheese, sweet and tangy robustly flavored brown ale beer-melized onions....one more thing....something salty, soft...

So perhaps this was a cop-out too, but I haven't splurged on prosciutto in awhile (although truly 3 slices is about a $1.50). The thing about prosciutto is that it goes on top of the pizza hot out of the oven. If the prosciutto cooked with the pizza, you'd get prosciutto chips. Not bad, but not the unctuous mouth feel concept I was going for with the onions and cacio di roma atop a crispy chewy pizza crust.

The first photograph is with only two prosciutto slices so you can see what just the cheese and onions looked like, before I put the third slice on. You want to layer on the prosciutto slices while the pizza is still steaming hot, it helps adhere the proscioutto to the rest of the pizza.

I love the detail I get with our new camera yay for 10 mega pixels! I just realized that since the cacio di roma was on sale, this entire pizza, crust and toppings (which fed the two of us for lunch) cost less than $5. Feeling pretty good about that.


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