Kelly's Fontina Challenge Pizza

Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Wild Arugula Pizza

While at Pizzeria Basta last fall, Peter challenged Kelly Whitaker to come up with a pizza featuring one of Bel Gioioso's wonderful cheeses.  Peter chose to have Kelly use their Fontina Cheese.  What Kelly came up with was a delicious Fontina with Prosciutto Cotto and Fresh, Wild Arugula Pizza.  As with anything Kelly makes, it turned out amazing.  You can see the video in our Instructional section - called "Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Arugula Pizza".

What I am trying to do here in my little part of the Pizza Quest world is to explore the notion in the area of artisanship and home chefsmanship (is that even a word? I like it!) that, "If I can do it, anyone can."  I was talking to Peter recently, and I said that I feel a little ridiculous daring to post my adventures alongside such accomplished people such as Peter, Kelly Whitaker, Nancy Silverton, Tony Geminiani and the many more great chefs and pizzaiolos to come.  But, I guess what I do represent is "the people."  *I can't just say "the people" without thinking of King Louis XVI in "History of the World:  Part I":

Count de Monet: “It is said that the people are revolting.”

King Louis XVI: “You said it. They stink on ice.”


I am just someone who enjoys cooking.  I found Peter Reinhart when I reached the point where I wanted to make a better pizza crust.  Now, not long after that, I hope I am sharing the home cook side of this quest, the part that is about bringing a piece of that passion home and sharing it on a smaller scale with friends and family.  What I am doing is not always perfect, but it is about the rewarding process of learning and sharing.  In a way, the journey, the quest, is just as fulfilling as the achievement of so called perfection. 

I may be taking advantage of my slot here on Pizza Quest, telling you all about my great pizzas and sharing a nice photo or two (okay, maybe quite a few more than than 1 or 2 photos).  When in reality these may look better than they taste.  You'll never know!  But, the amazing thing is that every time I try something, I learn something new.  For example, I made a couple of Mother's Day Pizzas this morning for my wife.  We fell in love with breakfast pizza while up in Vancouver, visiting Victoria one weekend, where a French chef made us crepes and an amazing egg-topped breakfast pizza.  This morning I made one with scrambled eggs, and one with a partially pre-fried egg to try to get it to cook enough in my home oven.  In the past, I've put a raw egg on the dough and it didn't quite cook enough.  But, this morning it went a little too far.  So, next time, I'll pre-cook it a little less, or maybe throw it on raw again.  Either way, it is the process of trying to find perfection that I'll most likely remember in the long run. 

Anyway, enough excuses from me and onward to my knock-off of Kelly's Fontina Pizza! 

It came out great!  Just look at my pictures! :)

How can you go wrong with such great ingredients! 

Kelly's Fontina Challenge "Fontina, Prosciutto Cotto and Arugula Pizza"

You saw in my previous post that I had made a fresh bruschetta topping.  Now you know why.  Kelly used the juice from the bruschetta as the sauce for the pizza.  I made this early so that it had time to blend together.  I'll repeat that recipe and follow with the rest of this pizza.

Bruschetta topping:
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Fresh Basil
A little Chopped fresh Garlic (*I slipped that in this one.)
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

The Pizza:
I used Peter's Neo-Neopolitan dough for this one (see the Instructional section). 
Fresh Bruschetta topping (the juice, mainly)
Bel Gioioso Fontina Cheese
Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella
Sauteed Mushrooms
The Oven
Olive Oil for drizzling when it's done
Fresh Wild Arugula

Spread your dough out on your peel, or work surface. 
*Try not to take pictures and have the dough stick to the surface and then have to spend all kinds of time scraping under it to get some dry flour underneath.  Just a little "insiders tip!"  I'm a one man show here - running back and forth.  By the end of my making a pizza and taking my photos, my camera is covered in flour, sauce and olive oil.

Pour some of the bruschetta juice off onto the dough and spread around as a sauce.  That just looks good by itself. 

Add chunks of the Fontina and Mozzarella
Add a few sauteed mushrooms
Add the prociutto cut up, or torn into bite size pieces. 
*You could cut up the prosciutto, but I chose to tear it up, which
just felt right.  It depends on the final look/feel you are going

Into the preheated oven with my Pizza Stones (crank your oven up as high as it will go).  Always preheat the oven for about an hour to get your stone to temperature.

Once done, drizzle a little olive oil over the pizza and top with the fresh wild arugula.

Cut.  Serve.  Enjoy!

This really was delicious....  I swear!  (My pictures don't lie!)


Enjoy the "little" Gallery below...



#1 Terry Savoie 2011-05-19 04:47
A little trick I've used for stuck pizza is to lift the edge of the dough and give a quick blast of air under it. If you're making for yourself, it works great. I have yet to try one of those compressed air cans, but I suspect it would work too... and better, and more sanitary.
#2 Peter Reinhart 2011-05-24 03:20
Thanks Terry--that's a helpful trick. Can't wait to try the air can idea--that will be fun for everyone. Just have to be careful not to blow the toppings off....

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