Pancetta, Fig & Arugala Pizza
With Roasted Tomatoes,
Garlic & Vidalia Onions

The wonderful Daring Bakers blogged pizza this past week, but not any kind of pizza, an authentic piziolla style pizza with high flying tossing and flipping, the way the pro's do it. Did you know there are major pizza tossing competitions in America as well as Italy?

I was looking forward to this challenge and I thought with how often I make homemade pizza it would be a breeze. I should have taken pictures long ago but I kept putting it off and thought to myself I'll do it next week. This past week when it was posting time I was still getting over a cold and wasn't up to playing with the dough, let alone tossing it, so I unfortunately passed on this months challenge. :(

So here it is Friday night, pizza night in our household! I had already planned on the types of pizza I was going to make for the challenge so I went ahead and made those tonight. Besides pizza, I made Panzerotti's, little folded pizza's, simply with cheese and sauce. For one of the pizza's I made my kids' favorite of pepperoni.. my little American traditionalists, and for my pizza I made Pancetta, Fig, and Arugala with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Sweet Vidalia onions. The house smelled so wonderful with the roasting of the vegetables!

For some reason I still haven't been able to get fresh figs in my area, so I used some dried figs I had on hand and reconstituted them in Madera wine. Madera has undertones of raisins, it was a wonderful choice for soaking and softening the figs.

I had my Italian butcher slice the pancetta around 1/2 inch thick and then I cut them into cubes. After browning them slightly they were a perfect size. They continued cooking in the oven while the pizza's were baking. I left the arugala in semi large and whole pieces. Arugala is a peppery leafed salad type green. Very similar in spice to a red radish or horseradish. Very common in Italian cuisine. I also used fresh buffala mozzarella medalions.

I did try tossing my pizza's but that didn't go well. I prefer draping my pizza dough over my hands and then pressing them into the dish. I'm definitely not pizziola pro material. I also pre bake my dough for 15 minutes. I know this is so not the normal way of making a pizza, but when I use heavy ingredients it works better so that an evenly crusted pizza is achieved.

Here in the picture below you can see the little Panzi's.. very traditional in our home. I make panzi's in different shapes and sizes often. On Christmas eve night, we make large Panzerotti's (as well as sea food) and stuff them with sausage, vegetables, sauce and cheese.

I still need to get caught up on reading everyones Daring Baker Challenges!
Have a great weekend Y'all!
Ciao and Buon Appetito!

Baked Salmon and Fingerling Potatoes
with Roasted Garlic, Caper
and Lemon & Thyme Aioli

The secret to this dish is really the Aioli, a garlic mayonnaise which occurs by blending the egg yolks with a thin stream of oil slowly added during processing. Aioli is a common cooking additive in Italy as well as Provence France where yearly they celebrate the Aioli festival.

The salmon is baked here in a foil pouch with a good spreading of Aioli and thyme sprigs in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. I use a foil pouch for each separate piece of fish. This timing is pretty acurate, but check periodically for oven temperatures vary. After spreading aioli dressing, seal pouch. When fish is done, open the pouch to reveal the top of fish. Bake till a little golden on top. *This doesn't always look very pretty, but the taste is outstanding!

For the fingerling potatoes I first boil them in a pot of salted water and I add a few cloves of garlic. Can I use too much garlic? :) When easily pierced with a fork, I remove the potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. I toss with a half of a cup of prepared Aioli and lay in a roasting pan. I cook in a 400 degree oven till glazed well with aioli dressing and golden in color.

Roasted Garlic, Caper
and Lemon & Thyme Aioli

2 Cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 -3 sprigs of Thyme
1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Capers
2 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup light olive oil (*not extra virgin)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Take paper off cloves of garlic and put in a foil pouch with olive oil, thyme, water, salt and pepper. Seal the pouch around the edges and roast in the oven till garlic is tender, around 15 minutes.
Process eggs, lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper in a blender, add the roasted garlic and thyme from pouch and process. Pour in the light olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the aioli emulsifies. Fold in mayonnaise and lemon zest, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme.

Use Aioli on pastas, as dips, topped on scrambled egg in brioche.. the uses are endless! Buon Appetito, Ciao and hugs to you!!