(recipe from the book Local Flavors used with permission of the author, Deborah Madison)
Makes one twelve-inch pizza.
2 (4-ounce) balls fresh mozzarella
½ recipe Pizza Dough, below
15 to 20 sage leaves
A chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano
red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Thinly slice the mozzarella and set it on paper towels to dry.
Roll or pat the dough into a circle 12 or 13 inches across, keeping it a little
thicker at the edge. If using a baking stone, generously dust a peel with cornmeal
and Lay the dough over it. Otherwise, put the dough on a sheet pan or pizza pan.
Lay the mozzarella over it, drizzle with a little oil, and bake for 7 minutes. Remove, add the sage leaves, and bake until the crust is golden, another 8 to 10
Remove from the oven, grate a little Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pizza, season with pepper flakes and a pinch of salt, and paint the edge with olive oil. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Makes ½ cup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 sage leaves
½ cup olive oil
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until it turns pale gold and
smells pleasantly nutty. Skim off any foam, add the sage leaves, and let them
sizzle for a minute or so. Pour in the oil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10
minutes. Pour through a strainer and reserve the sage leaves. Use the crispy
sage leaves for a garnish on another dish and keep the oil to use as needed.
Makes two l2 inch round pizzas or one 12×16 pizza
1¾ cups warm water
1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour or more as needed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Put the warm water in a mixing bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of
the flour. Set aside until foamy. 20 to 30 minutes. Oil a clean bowl for the dough.
Stir in the salt and oil, then start stirring in the flour until the dough is fairly stiff.
When too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until the
dough is smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed. Put the
dough in the oiled bowl, turn once to coat, cover with plastic wrap. and set aside
to rise until doubted in bulk, about an hour.
For pizzas divide into 2 or 4 pieces, shape loosely into balls, then out into thin
circles. For one large rustic tart, roll into a large rectangle and bake it on a sheet.