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Top This: Potato Pizza Rustica (à la Maialino)

[Photographs: Erin Mosbaugh except where noted]

The Pizza Rustica served during Maialino's happy hour is a creation born from leftovers. Nicholas Anderer, Executive Chef at Maialino, takes Pizza Bianca from Grandaisy Bakery (a rosemary, olive oil, and sea salt-accented flatbread) leftover from the restaurant's bread service, and elevates it to heights we, frankly, didn't know existed.

Thick slices of potato are braised in chicken stock, olive oil, lemon, thyme and Sicilian oregano until tender. The potatoes are arranged atop the flatbread along with sautéed onions, and encased in bechamel and grated Grana Padano. The crust gets an extra slathering of bechamel, keeping everything moist and happy. The edges get crisp, the bechamel gets bubbly, the cheese gets melty, and things get downright delicious.

Chef Nicholas admits that "this is not a pizza for pizza geeks". The crust is pre-made, (and what a phenomenal crust it is) and the ingredients are, by all means, non-traditional. But of all the recipes I've sought out for Top This, this is by far the most suitable for recreating in a bare-bones home kitchen. Good thing, because Maialino's happy hour ends Labor Day.

What You'll Need (for one pizza)

* If you don't live near Grandaisy or Sullivan Street Bakery, any ciabatta or focaccia will work great.

** Try out this recipe for a perfect bechamel, a traditional French sauce made from butter, flour, and milk.

Maialino

2 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10010 (map)
212-777-2410
maialinonyc.com

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