Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Makes One 16- by 15-Inch Pizza
I make pizza at least once a week because it is my son Chris's favorite food. The topping for this pizza was invented when I found some odds and ends of cheese in the refrigerator and vegetables from my garden. When I took my creation out of the oven, it was so beautiful to look at that I snapped a picture of it. To me it was a good example of the create-with-what's-on-hand style of home cooking I grew up with, and made me feel very close to my roots. In this recipe, I have used Swiss chard, but you can use spinach as well. As for the cheeses, use what you have on hand.
1 pound Swiss chard, cleaned, stems removed
7 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 4- by 1/4-inch strips
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated ricotta salata cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
One recipe Pizza with Cresciuta
Place the Swiss chard leaves in a skillet and add 1 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the leaves are tender. Drain the Swiss chard well in a colander, using your hands to squeeze out the excess water. When cool, chop coarsely and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the onions and cook slowly over medium-low heat until translucent. Remove the onions to a dish. In the same pan add the Swiss chard, minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the Swiss chard for 3 to 4 minutes, add the salt and pepper, and mix well. Remove to a dish and set aside.
Preheat the broiler.
In a small bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the squash on a broiler pan lined with foil and broil for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Remove the squash to a dish.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Lightly brush a 15- by 14-inch cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roll the dough into a 16- by 15-inch rectangle. Place the dough on the cookie sheet. Create an edge by turning the edges in toward the center and pinching the dough with your fingers.
Spread the Swiss chard on top. Sprinkle on the onions and the squash. Sprinkle the cheeses over the top. Drizzle on the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the pepper.
Bake the pizza for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is a golden brown. Cut into squares with kitchen scissors and serve immediately.
Note: This makes a nice party appetizer when cut into small squares.
This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1993.