Asparagus and ricotta pizze bianche
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 15 MINS // COOK 20 MINS (PLUS PROVING)
The simpler the better is our motto when it comes to pizza. Here it’s all about milky ricotta and new-season asparagus. Pictured p98.
80 ml (⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp chopped thyme 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 24 thick asparagus spears (about 3 bunches), shaved lengthways on a mandoline 1 buffalo mozzarella ball (about 200gm), drained and coarsely chopped 200 gm firm ricotta, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp olive oil 7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast 1 tsp caster sugar 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour 1
For pizza dough, combine olive oil, yeast, sugar, ½ tsp salt and 320ml lukewarm water in a bowl and set aside until foamy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add flour, mix until a rough dough forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes; the dough will be quite soft and sticky). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (1-1½ hours). Knock back dough, knead briefly, then cover and leave until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour).
2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250°C and place 2 heavy-based oven trays in oven to heat. Combine olive oil, thyme, garlic and lemon rind in a bowl and season to taste. 3
Divide dough into quarters, then form each into a 30cm round with the palm of your hand or a rolling pin and place each on a piece of baking paper. Brush with a little oil mixture and scatter with even amounts of asparagus, then mozzarella. Spoon dollops of ricotta on top, drizzle with a little extra oil mixture and season to taste. Bake in batches on heated trays, using baking paper to slide them on and swapping trays halfway through cooking, until golden brown and cooked through (6-8 minutes). Serve pizze hot with extra ricotta spooned in the centre of each and drizzled with extra oil mixture.
Wine suggestion Dry fiano.