Rich tomato sauce and sweet pea spread come together to form a flavorful canvas on which to showcase gently cooked vegetables, including sauteed baby artichokes and crisp green beans. A chiffonade of radicchio and arugula provide a peppery note. Lemon zest, along with sharp and tangy Pecorino Romano, brighten up the fresh flavors in this Roman-inspired pizza.
This Roman-style crust is thin and crunchy—yeasty with crisp edges. Andrea ships his pizza dough to Park Slope all the way from his other restaurant, Acquolina, in Rome. He says that the dough is made with a 75-year-old yeast strain.
Use your favorite pizza dough recipe, or try this recipe for Roman-style pizza dough.If you want to give your pizza a true Roman feel, stick with the square shape seen here.
You Say Tomato, I Say D.O.P. San Marzano
Now that you have your dough rolled out, it's time to get your sauce on. In a blender or food processor, combine canned whole D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes—Andrea stresses the importance of the quality of tomato—with a couple tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of dried oregano, and salt to taste. Andrea uses La Valle brand D.O.P. (a controlled designation of origin) tomatoes, which come from a small village in Campania where the volcanic soil makes for a sweet, rich tomato.
Spread the tomato sauce in a thin, even layer over the pizza crust, and into the oven your Roman-style pizza goes. Andrea cooks the dough for 7 minutes in an electric Baker's Pride oven. Whatever oven you're working with at home will be just fine. (Give the Skillet-Broiler Method a try.)
Peas and Love
To make the pea spread, sauté 1 cup of fresh peas with 1/4 cup chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low heat. Sauté until the peas are tender, season with salt, and blend in a food processor or blender until you reach a spreadable, paste-like consistency.
Andrea uses a mix of radicchio, red sangria lettuce, Latuga Riccia (curly lettuce), and arugula. Bunch up the lettuce and slice it into long strips—a chiffonade, if you will.
Blanch the Green Beans
Boil the green beans in salted water for roughly one and half minutes. Strain the green beans in a colander and plunge them into ice water to bring the temperature down. This will ensure that the green beans retain their vibrant color and crunch. Cut the green beans into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
Arrange the chiffonade of lettuce and blanched green beans over the pizza base. Andrea made sure to reach every corner of the pie and evenly distribute the greens. Next, sprinkle the finely chopped chives over the lettuce and green beans.
Don't Choke, Were Almost Done
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Place the trimmed and quartered artichokes in boiling water for 5 minutes. Take them out and immediately submerge them into a bath of ice water and the juice of one lemon. (Be careful not to cook the artichokes until they are soft because you will be sautéing them.) Cut the boiled artichokes into 1/4 inch thick pieces, as shown.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Andrea says you should sauté the artichokes until they "get a tan." This should take about 3 minutes. Season the artichokes with salt.
Next comes the Pecorino Romano, a salty sheep's milk cheese. Andrea recommends Brunelli Pecorino Romano. Slice the Pecorino into paper-thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Arrange the slices over the pizza. Looking pretty fab, no?
For the final step, grate the zest of a lemon over the top of the lettuce, green beans, artichoke, and Pecorino Romano. We recommend you serve this Roman-inspired masterpiece on a sunny outdoor terrace with the soundtrack to La Dolce Vita playing in the background. Buon appetito!