Top This: Pancetta and Brussels Sprout Leaves Pizza à la Cucina Urbana

Top This

Learn how to work a new topping onto your pies.


[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

Cucina Urbana is a great place to look for inspiration for your next pie, for one main reason: Executive Chef Joe Maganelli and his crew are constantly dreaming up new ideas with the freshest produce of the season. One of Maganelli's latest creations is a Béchamel-sauced pie with Brussels sprout leaves, red onion, and Parmesan and fontina cheeses, spiked with diced Calabrian chilies and two preparations of roasted garlic.

It's a pie that requires some advance preparation, but the extra effort is well worth it. The first thing you'll want to do is get working on the roasted garlic olive oil and purée. It'll take about an hour, but the good news is the purée is a by-product of the oil.

First, make the olive oil by oven-roasting four heads of garlic with the tops cut off in two cups of olive oil in a covered, oven-proof baking dish at 300º for about 45 minutes. Once the oil has cooled, strain and store the oil in a glass jar or tightly sealed container. It will last up to a month in the fridge. To make the purée, squeeze the garlic out of the roasted bulbs and mash (if necessary).

You'll also need to whip up a batch of Béchamel, but like the recipe notes, it's a great foundation for lots of other tasty things, like mac and cheese, lasagna, or a croque-monsieur.

Take a look the the slideshow to see how this pie comes together »

What You'll Need

  • 1 portion of Neapolitan pizza dough
  • Béchamel sauce
  • Roasted garlic purée
  • Roasted garlic olive oil
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Calabrian chilies
  • Brussels sprouts (outer leaves only)
  • Fontina cheese
  • Pancetta
  • Parmesan cheese

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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