A recent trip to Tarry Market in Port Chester yielded a nice chunk of guanciale. Normally I'd be making pizza carbonara, but I was looking for a tomato sauce-based pie. The obvious direction was pizza all'amatriciana, based on the fabulous pasta dish.
For the sauce, I use Pomi brand strained tomatoes, right out of the box, just as I always do. I'm not a fan of cooked sauces on pizza. I'm looking for bright, fresh, clean flavors. The rest of the ingredients are simply placed on the pie as it's being built.
Heat some chopped/diced guanciale in a pan, rendering some of the fat (which will be drizzled on the pizza), and giving a nice crunch/chew to the guanciale.
The onions should have been on the sauce, but I just kinda forgot until the end
Thinly sliced onions on the sauce. They melt away when cooked on a pizza, lending a sweetness and subtle onion flavor. A bit of salt and pepper and red pepper flake as well.
Minced garlic is strewn about.
Throw some fresh basil on there. Why not. I usually dip it in my bowl of Pomi so it doesn't burn in the oven.
A bit of low moisture mozzarella cheese. Again, not too much.
Grated Pecorino Romano, of course.
That guanciale goes on along with a drizzle of the oil.
The pizza is cooked following the method I've been using for some time: two ovens as, hot as they go, preheating for well over and hour, and opening the door to let the air cool down once the element cycles off. This causes the element to go back on, adding more heat to the stone. Both stones on the top(pish) racks, 2 inches from the element. My stone is about 650 degrees when I put the pie in. The pie cooks for just about 2.5 minutes, and then it's slid into the second oven, which has been set to broil at the time I put the pizza in the first oven. This gives that second stone a blast of heat, ensures that the second stone is screaming hot as well, and gets the element screaming hot for the last 30 seconds of cooking. I've tried many variations with the stone placement, and the results are never as good as what I get with this approach. This is how I get 3 minute pizzas (sometimes quicker), from my regular ol' electric ovens.
I should have topped the finished pizza with parsley, but I completely forgot. Next time.
This will be in the regular rotation. Give it some consideration for your own experiments.
Tonight will be pasta all'amatriciana, based on Mario Batali's recipe, and I couldn't be happier.