Friday, April 24, 2009

Gourmet Pizza Party: Northern Italian autumn...

One of our favorite pizzas of the evening-- first made popular at the Celebration of Orange (a few years ago)-- is an orenji classic: a sweet potato and apple pizza hailing from Northern Italy. This pizza has all the autumn flavors one could ever hope for, is visually appealing, and prominently features our favorite color!

Starting with a hand-stretched organic honey and wheat crust, baked to crispy perfection, we build this pizza with a foundation of classic creamy white bechamel sauce (with just a traditional hint of shallot and nutmeg), which we infuse with the sweet and earthy flavors of freshly roasted garlic and the sharp bite of Parmesan. Atop this bubbly sauce, layers of slow roasted thinly sliced sweet potatoes (infused with herbal pungent rosemary), and pan braised Granny Smith apples are placed-- the deep flavors of the potatoes perfectly contrasting the acidity of the apples.

Smooth Italian Fontina cheese (a cow's milk cheese produced in the Italian Alps) lends a creamy pungency to the pie, masking the strong flavors of the rosemary and garlic on the tongue, but letting them settle on the palate. A healthy sprinkling of freshly grated tellicherry pepper and smoked sea salt add the finishing high notes to this masterpiece of a pizza!

Warm, comforting, bubbling-- this is the perfect pizza for a cold autumn evening... but we bet you won't be able to wait until then to try it! Tomorrow, more pizza... this one inspired by the fruits of the forest! Be sure to check back...

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