Yellow cornmeal to dust the pizza peel or olive oil to grease the pizza tray or the baking sheet
- One recipe homemade dough, preferably the Classic Pizza Dough¬†¬†or the Semolina Pizza Dough ; or 1 pound purchased fresh dough¬†or frozen dough, thawed; or one 12- to 14- inch store- bought, prebaked¬†plain pizza crust
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced
- 6 tablespoons Pizza Pesto¬†or purchased pesto
- 6 ounces mozzarella, shredded
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ounce Parmigiano- Reggiano or Grana Padano, fi nely grated
Talk about summery simplicity! Here‚Äôs a pizza for all basil- and- tomato¬†lovers. Pancetta is cured, not smoked, Italian bacon, often rolled into¬†rounds and used as a fl avoring for many stews and braises. Here, it¬†should be diced into 1 ‚ĀĄ4-inch cubes so they‚Äôll frizzle and turn crunchy when¬†fried.
- Fresh dough on a pizza stone. Start out by giving a pizza peel a light dusting with¬†cornmeal. Place the dough at its center; use your fi ngertips to dimple it into a¬†large circle. Pick it up and shape it with your hands holding its edge, slowly turning¬†the dough until it‚Äôs about 14 inches in diameter. Set it cornmeal side down¬†on the peel.
- Fresh dough on a baking sheet. Grease a pizza tray or a large baking sheet¬†with olive oil dabbed on a paper towel or piece of wax paper. Lay the dough¬†on the tray or baking sheet; dimple it with your fi ngertips into a rough circle‚ÄĒ¬†then pull and press the dough until it forms a circle about 14 inches in diameter¬†on the tray or an irregular rectangle, perhaps 12 √ó 7 inches, on the¬†baking sheet.
- A prebaked crust. Place it on a pizza peel if you‚Äôre also using a pizza stone‚ÄĒor¬†place the prebaked crust right on a pizza tray or a large baking sheet.
- ¬†Pour the olive oil into a small skillet and set it over medium heat. Add the¬†pancetta and cook, stirring often, just until the fat has barely begun to turn¬†translucent and the edges are a little sizzled, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- ¬†Spread the pesto evenly over the crust, leaving a 1 ‚ĀĄ2- inch border at its edge.¬†Top with the shredded mozzarella.
- Place the cherry tomatoes cut side up across the pie in a decorative pattern.¬†Sprinkle the diced pancetta over the top, then sprinkle on the grated Parmigiano-¬†Reggiano. Slide the pie from the peel to the hot stone (take care not to dislodge¬†the tomatoes)‚ÄĒor place the pizza on its tray or baking sheet either in the oven or¬†over the portion of the grill grate that‚Äôs not directly over the heat or coals.
- Bake or grill with the lid closed until the crust is golden and the pancetta is¬†sizzling and cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes. Use a fork to pop any air bubbles ¬†that may spring up at the edges or in the middle of a crust made from fresh¬†dough. Slip the pie back onto the peel to remove it from the stone‚ÄĒor transfer¬†the pie on the tray or baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
- If you want to ensure that the crust stays crispy, slip the pizza off the peel,¬†the tray, or the baking sheet after a minute or two, placing it right on the wire¬†rack.