Slideshow: Top This: Artichoke and Smoked Pancetta Pizza (à la Barboncino)

This Pie is a Winner
This Pie is a Winner
The smoky-sweet pancetta pieces cook to a perfect chewy state in the pizza oven. The artichokes—steamed until tender then marinated in oil, vinegar, and spices—lend a gorgeous, slightly acidic element to cut through the milky pools of fior di latte. The Pecorino adds an extra salty component, and the pungent minced garlic adds some attention-grabbing heat.
Chokes
Chokes
At Barboncino, they buy long-stemmed artichokes, steam them until tender, then marinate them for 3 days in a vinaigrette. The marinade is 3 parts oil to 1 part white wine vinegar, with a few "secret" spices added in. Throw in any spices you like—garlic, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns and red chili flakes would work nicely.

Slice the marinated artichoke into quarters lengthwise.

Meatopia
Meatopia
The pancetta is diced small, then put onto the pizza uncooked. When you buy the pancetta (we recommend Leoncini), it is already fully cooked. It has the most amazing smoky pork flavor.
Assembly Required
Assembly Required
Next, sprinkle a handful of the grated Pecorino over the dough, then scatter the pieces of smoked pancetta over the pie. Lay the quartered marinated artichokes over the pizza in a wheel spoke formation (as pictured).
Into the Oven
Into the Oven
Here we see master pizzaiolo Yusef Taylor putting the pie in the 900 degree Stefano Ferrara oven, imported from a town just outside of Naples.

Yeah, we wish we had one too.

Fuego
Fuego
At Barboncino, this baby cooks for approximately 90 seconds.

We suggest you cook your pie at the highest temperature your oven can reach. 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 and the cheese has melted.

Prepare yourself to get weak in the knees from the smoky pork smell emanating from the oven.