Top This: Potato Pizza Rustica (à la Maialino)
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)
- Pizza Bianca from Grandaisy or Sullivan Street Bakery*
- 3/4 cup bechamel**
- 1 cup grated Grana Padano
- 2 onions
- 3 German Butterball potatoes (or Yukon Gold), peeled
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 4 springs fresh thyme, picked
- 2 sprigs dried Sicilian oregano
- 2 lemons
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Course sea salt (for finishing)
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- Tin Foil
- Japanese Mandolin
* 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.