Friday 30 September 2016

Golfo dei Poeti homemade pizza

30 minutes to prepare  Serves 4

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

The gulf of La Spezia is also known as Golfo dei Poeti, the Gulf of Poets.

The comedy writer Sem Benelli named it so while working at his masterpiece La vena delle beffe in a beautiful villa overlooking the sea of ​​San Terenzo.
This nickname comes from the fact that over centuries many poets, writers and artists spent long periods of time here, struck by the beauty of this water amphitheater. Among the many artists who loved this place, there are David Herbert Lawrence, George Sand, the poet Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

We visited this area in August and we had chance to taste this marvellous pizza, which gathers some of the best and most known flavours of La Spezia region:
the typical pesto sauce - made of pine nuts, basil and Parmesan cheese - is enriched with green beans and potatoes, while mozzarella cheese is accompanied by stracchino cheese.

I know, after this pizza you should probably visit the gym, as the caloric content is definitely not negligible.
But we need some motivation to go, don't we?

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe (4 pizzas):

For the dough

600 g flour 00
30 g sugar
6 g brewer's yeast
390 ml water
10 g salt

For the seasoning

100 g green beans
100 ml EVO oil
50 g basil leaves
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
15 g pine nuts
400 g potatoes
400 g mozzarella cheese
200 g stracchino cheese

  1. Pour the water into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the salt, yeast, and sugar and stir well to combine
  2. Add the flour and mix until uniformly moist. Knead if necessary
  3. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 12 hours at room temperature
  4. After this time has passed, divide the dough into 4 balls and refrigerate them, loosely covered, for other 12 hours before using
  5. When you are ready to bake the pizzas, take the dough out of the fridge, leaving at least 1 hour anh half for it to warm up and get pliable
  6. Meanwhile, pour 1 l of water in a large pot and bring to boil. Wash and brush well the potatoes, then wash green beans. As soon as the water boils, dip unpeeled potatoes and green beans in the pot, and go on with the cooking for about 15 minutes
  7. Drain potatoes and beans. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices about 1-cm thick. Cut green beans into 4-cm pieces
  8. Then, prepare the pesto sauce: pour the pine nuts in a blender, add EVO oil and a pinch of salt. Wash and chop the basil leaves, then add them, too. Blend until you obtain a coarse consistency. Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir to mix
  9. Cut mozzarella into thin slices and place it in a colander to drain
  10. Cut stracchino cheese into small pieces and keep it aside
  11. Preheat oven to 270°C (or, better, as far as oven temperatures go)
  12. Generously dust the counter with semolina flour. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands in flour and lift a ball of dough. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss
  13. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 25 cm in diameter), lay it on the baking tray covered by baking paper
  14. Lightly top it with the pesto sauce and sprinkle the pieces of green beans and potatoes over
  15. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the baking tray to a lower self before the next round
  16. When the crust of the pizza is golden - it means that the pizza is almost ready -, add mozzarella on top. Let mozzarella to melt for a couple of minutes
  17. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a wooden cutting board. Add stracchino cheese and wait 2 minutes before serving, to allow mozzarella to set slightly and stracchino to soften. You are welcome!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

“Italia! Oh Italia! Thou who hast the fatal gift of Beauty,”
Lord Byron, Italia! Oh Italia!

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