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Food & Home

Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta, and Ricotta Pizza

Che Fico’s take on a white pie is less heavy than most. The cheeses and pancetta provide richness, which is nicely balanced by the savory cruciferous Brussels sprouts, and the bright lemon juice at the end really wakes up your palate.

1. Use a generous amount of semolina flour to dust a flat, smooth counter and a little over the dough. With a bench scraper, loosen up the ball from the bottom from different angles without contorting the shape of the ball. Remove the dough and place the bottom on a pile of semolina flour. Reshape the dough into a circle if it needs it. Create a well with your fingers and retain a ¾-inch border—this will become the crust. Being careful not to pinch or flatten the “crown” or crust, lift the dough onto your fists. Gently stretch the dough to about 12 inches.

2. Brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil. Scatter the ricotta and scamorza evenly on the dough. Season the pizza with salt. Add half the Brussels sprouts and all the shallots and pancetta, trying to avoid having too much concentrated in the center. Season the pizza peel with semolina then pull the dough onto the peel.

3. If baking in a wood-fired pizza oven, make sure the deck of the oven is between 750 and 800°F. The pizza will cook very quickly—in about 90 seconds, with 2 rotations—so pay close attention and have your pizza peel ready to go. First place the pizza close to the fire and allow the crust to set and 1 side to become golden brown. Rotate the pizza a third of the way to cook the crust to golden brown. Rotate the final third of the way and finish the pizza.

Alternatively, you can bake the pizza on a pizza stone in a very hot oven. Allow the stone to heat for at least an hour before baking to get it as hot as possible (as high as your home oven will go, 500 to 550°F). Bake undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes until the desired color is achieved. If you need more browning on the top, turn the broiler on and let it go for a couple minutes—just watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.

4. Brush olive oil and sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan over the crust. Then scatter the remaining Brussels sprouts over the pie. To finish, squeeze the lemon over the top of the pizza along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.