Now that I have found a pizza dough recipe I really like, I am starting to experiment a bit more with my toppings. This one is a new take on an older recipe but adds in several new toppings that I haven’t used before plus a really great cheese blend. Honestly, I couldn’t really fit all of the appropriate descriptors for this pizza in the title. I don’t think “Four Cheese-Brussels Sprout-Caramelized Red Onion-Pancetta Pizza” is a good post title. So, I shortened it, but the long version is really what it is.
I wanted to add red onion, but Rob wasn’t a big fan of the idea of just throwing some raw red onion on the pizza. I don’t blame him for that opinion. red onions can be a bit harsh. So, I used my standard caramelization technique on them which worked out great and made them much more palatable. I stuck with the thinly shaved brussels sprouts and pancetta. They are both awesome flavors and pizza toppings so why mess with a good thing.
For the cheese, I went with a fairly traditional Italian four cheese blend. I did a base of mozzarella slices and then filled in with a mix of ricotta, asiago, and parmesan. A trick for mozzarella is to place the slices between paper towel and two plates with a heavy weight of some kind on top to press out the excess moisture. It really helps with melting and browning overall.
Wine Paring: Lasseter Family Winery Toute Suite
Lasseter is easily one of me and Rob’s favorite Sonoma wineries. It is owned by John Lasseter of Pixar and is family (he actually lives on the property). It was one of the first wineries we visited when we first went to Sonoma and was the first wine club we joined. The winery is also located in the little community of Glen Ellen in Sonoma toward the northern end of the valley. It is a beautiful, tight knit community with some truly great dining and wineries. Make sure to stop if you are in Sonoma!
Lasseter specializes predominantly in French-style blended wines. Each is blended based a story or experience of the Lasseter family. Toute Suite is a relatively new wine to their line up (only a few releases old) and is a blend of Cab Franc and Cab Sauv. The wine is intended to evoke the rush to preserve the flavors of the grapes during the harvest season. Flavor-wise it is a “bigger” wine, with a spicier note and bold aroma and flavors. I liked it this pizza which was full of creamy, rich cheese, bitter sprouts, and salty pancetta. The wine balanced out the pizza well without overpowering it.
Four Cheese-Brussels Sprout-Caramelized Red Onion-Pancetta Pizza
- Pizza Dough Instruction Link in Notes
- Mozzarella Cheese shredded or 1/4 slices
- Ricotta Cheese
- Asiago Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- 5-6 Brussels Sprouts shaved
- 1 Red Onion caramelized (Instruction Link in Notes)
- Pancetta rendered down and crispy
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves smashed
- 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flake
- 1/4 Tsp Fennel Seed
- 1/4 Tsp Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven and a pizza stone or pan to 450F.
- Heat all fo the ingredients for the pizza oil in a small sauce pan for 5-10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to the desired size and thickness (for two we did about 14" diameter and 1/4" thick).
- Transfer the dough to the preheated stone or pan. Brush some of the oil on the dough and prebake the dough for about 5-7 minutes or slightly browned.
- Remove the stone/pan and place the cheese on the dough starting with the mozzarella then filling in with the others. Add the remaining toppings to your desired density.
- Bake for another 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and browning.