The Finished Pizza
The smoky pancetta, sweet and vinegary black garlic, earthy crimini mushrooms, and milky mozzarella come together harmoniously, creating an intensely flavorful pizza.
If you don't have an Asian food store near you that sells black garlic, you can order black garlic online at mondofood.com. It can also be found in specialty ethnic food shops in NYC such as Kalustyan's.
Quick fact: black garlic has medicinal properties, and is very high in antioxidants. We knew pizza could be a cure-all!
Get the recipe here
Remove the cloves from the garlic bulb, and chop 3 to 4 of the cloves into smaller pieces. Try a clove and see how you react to the pungency of its flavor. This way, you will know if you want larger or smaller chunks of black garlic on your pizza.
Gently clean the criminis with a brush or damp towel, and remove the base of the stem. Slice the mushrooms extremely thin. If you have a mandolin, use it!
You want to thinly slice the criminis because they need to fully cook while the pizza is in the oven.
Chef Alvaro makes his sauce by pureeing peeled, canned San Marzano tomatoes. If you prefer a smooth sauce, blend the tomatoes until the desired consistency is reached. If you like a really chunky tomato sauce, simply crush the tomatoes with your hands.
Alvaro seasons his sauce simply with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and fresh oregano.
Stretch your dough into a 12-inch round. At Toby's Public House, the dough is thin and crispy. Your favorite thin crust dough recipe will work perfectly.
Next, apply a thin coat of sauce to the surface of the dough. Sprinkle a small handful of grated Parmigiano over the sauce. Evenly distribute the chopped mozzarella and crimini mushrooms over the dough.
Chef Alvaro stresses that you do not want to have a heavy hand with any of the ingredients. Because this is a thin-crust pizza, you will risk the crust getting soggy if you load on the sauce, cheese, mushrooms, etc. We know all those ingredients look mmm good, but restraint is key!
Smoked pancetta is like Italian bacon, only it has less fat than bacon and more smoke.
Leoncini, a producer of cured pork products in the Veneto region, has started exporting smoked pancetta and you can find it in most high-end Italian markets.
You can usually buy pancetta pre-sliced, or you can get the butcher to slice it for you. Arrange the slices of pancetta over the dough.
And if you can't find pancetta, bacon is always an awesome replacement.
The Final Step
Evenly distribute the pieces of black garlic over the entire pizza. Now it's time for the oven!
Heat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach and let it warm for about an hour. If you're using a pizza stone you'll want it to be in the oven during the pre-heat. Cook the pizza until the crust is crisp, the cheese has melted, and the pancetta has crisped up nicely.
At Toby's, they're working with a wood fired oven that reaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
What a Beaut
The finished pizza in all its glory. Grab a slice, contemplate all the unconventional, exotic ingredients you have yet to try on this planet, and enjoy.