Pizza Bianca with Figs and Prosciutto, a fresh diverse combination taking you out of the pizza comfort zone. The duality of sweet and savory, balances beautifully with the crispiness of the thin crust. Nice hits of arugula reminding us that summer is still alive.
Pizza Bianca with Figs and Prosciutto is a delicious way to capture the summer seasonal figs in all their richness and sweetness. Add in the prosciutto with its salty dry-cured buttery texture and you have a match made in heaven.
[This post is sponsored by the Italian Centre Shop. We've been compensated but all opinions are our own.]
Pizza! Is it the combination of cheese, fresh ingredients, and sauces that make pizza so enticing? Or is it that it is easy to eat, just hands and mouth required? I don't know the answer, all I know is that when I see a deliciously made pizza, I want it.
Being in Italy right now has been wonderful: the culture, the history, being with my wife and family. I am always treated well here makes me feel very welcomed and loved. Do I miss life in Canada, of course, my children are there, our cats, and my parents, but I think a break is always necessary to clear the energy of obligation and responsibility. There are things that I would much prefer to not have like impatient driving, the lack of personal space. The way people drive keeping it close, fast, and furious. I am one of those casual drivers enjoying the drive admiring what may present itself along the way, it's the journey not the destination for me. Here it is the destination, not the journey. I don't want to generalize, just by the percentage that is the way it is, and it works for people here, and I say if it floats your boat then.........
The one thing I enjoy the most is the relationship with food that the Italian culture has. On the streets many places to stop and have either a panino, a slice of pizza which they call pizza a taglio, or some fried calamari, arancini, alici, or moscardini. My favorite is the pizza rossa, just crust and a nice slathering of tomato sauce and oregano. In Rome the crust is usually thin and airy with a nice crisp crunch to it. You can have a few slices and it does not weigh in your stomach. You watch as young and old get a slice folded in half just like a sandwich and bite into it. If you take the time to just watch you will see something change in their eyes. A look of pure pleasure, delight and fulfillment.
In inspiration of these moments, we decided on a pizza using seasonal figs, arugula, and beautifully cured prosciutto. We were hired by The Italian Center Shop to create some recipes using their ready-made products, one being homemade pizza dough sold in their ready-made product section close to the deli. We are approaching the end of the fig season and I know many who cringe at the thought of not having figs for a while, well, fresh figs that is. With figs in hand, a handful of arugula, some freshly sliced prosciutto, and the fresh pizza dough, we are set for an easy breezy pizza that will be ready in little time to be savored and enjoyed.
Working the dough
Sometimes weeks become so hectic and time is of the essence, thanks to places like the Italian Center Shop you can walk in, pick up some fresh pizza dough, mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, and arugula, and create a beautiful meal that is both quick, less than 30 minutes, and absolutely delicious.
When we do have time as we did for this particular recipe we re-proofed the dough, which means we put it in an oiled bowl and let it rise for a second time. This process allows the yeast to work its magic again bringing air and lightness to the mix. You are left with a dough that is very workable and when cooked becomes so light and crispy. I oiled up a pizza pan with some extra virgin olive oil. Stretched the dough out. This takes a bit of work as the dough will want to contract. I usually oil up my fingers and work the dough from the center out turning the pan so the dough spreads out evenly to the edge of the pan. I work it until I have a nice crust edge on the outer limits of the dough.
Get the oven going so it is nice and hot around 425° F. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the surface of the dough and take the trusses of buffalo mozzarella and spread it all over the dough. With figs cut they are ready to join the mozzarella. Place this wonderful work of art into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden on the edges with the mozzarella melted and figs glazed with a bit of caramelization. Slide pizza out and add in prosciutto, letting the heat of the pizza itself, warm the prosciutto. Drizzle some good reduced balsamic cream, which you can find at any of your Italian markets. If you want you can even make some yourself by putting some balsamic vinegar in a pot and reduce till it is thick enough to drizzle. The final finishing touch a bit of arugula sparsely placed over this pizza bianca.
I cannot tell you how tasty this pizza is. The crust beautifully golden brown. Crispy with a rustic buttery flavor coming from the naturalness of the olive oil. Then the figs give you this velvety sweet caramelized marmalade accompanied by the prosciutto, salty, smooth, melt in your mouth with just a bit of crispiness on the edges created by the heat of the oven. All this goodness sitting on a layer of melted creamy rich buffalo mozzarella. The arugula brings in such a wonderful finish with its peppery characteristic and also its freshness. This pizza is a symphony in your mouth. Balanced in flavors and delightful to look at. To me a work of art. I can see a nice glass of good prosecco going well with this dish adding another great flavor to the already magnificent flavors of this Pizza Bianca with Figs and Prosciutto.
- 2 freshly-made daily Italian Centre pizza dough balls
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 fresh figs
- 100 grams of San Daniele or Parma prosciutto
- 2 containers buffalo mozzarella
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- 4 tablespoons balsamic cream
- Drizzle ½ tbsp of olive oil to coat bottom of a 12-inch pizza pan.
- Stretch dough to edges of pizza pan making sure there are no holes.
- Drizzle 1 ½ tbsp.of the olive oil on top of the pizza dough.
- Drain buffalo mozzarella in a sieve taking out excess milk.
- Cut into small pieces and spread on top of the pizza dough.
- Wash and dry figs. Cut into quarters and place on pizza distributing throughout.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place pizza in oven and cook till bottom and edge of crust is golden brown and crispy, and cheese is well melted.
- Take out of oven.
- Cut prosciutto in long slivers and toss on top pizza.
- Drizzle balsamic cream nicely over pizza
- Slice and serve.
- Place arugula sparsely
You could proof the pizza dough for about an hour if you want. This will allow the dough to rise for a secong time and give you a lighter, even crispier texture. If you are pressed for time just use the dough right away it will be good just the same.