Introduction: Potato Pizza - Pizza Con Patate
Potato Pizza, or Pizza con patate if you feel like talking worldly... (Isn't it funny how the Italian translation sounds exotic, when in reality its just basic text - just for kicks i'm adding the translations to all my step titles) but, I digress, were talking Potato pizza here. It may not seem like a classic pizza, at least to North Americans, but in Italy it's as classic as a pepperoni pizza. Or if your in Canada, perhaps a Hawaiian. Yes, us pesky Canadians were the originators/perpetrators of starting that argument of putting pineapple on pizza. In this dish, the lowly potato, when paired with a few simple quality ingredients becomes more then the sum of its parts.
This isn't some bizarre fusion pizza, no butter chicken/poutine/egg-roll pizza here. First a high water/flour ratio dough gives you excellent flavor in a thin crust with just the right amount of chew and crispy. Topped with a soft goat cheese, or if your under a Covid-19 lock down like me, Boursin cream cheese. Haven't tried Boursin? If the gods chose to make manna in cream-cheese form, it would taste like Boursin. Next Potatoes are cut very thin and embedded in the cheese, followed by shaved red onions, some chopped garden herbs and sprinkled with grated Fruiliano cheese and a handful of pine-nuts. Dance a couple swigs of good olive oil across the top and pop it in a very hot oven for 15-20 minutes and BOOM, your in Rome! Seriously though, potato on pizza works. Once you try it, you'll crave it again and again.
Now a word about substitutions. These days, getting the perfect ingredients can be challenging, and all though I think the ingredients chosen are what should be used, see below for some easy swap outs
- Goats cheese - As mentioned before, spreadable goat cheese might not be hanging out in your fridge. Boursin is awesome, but I have done this pizza with just plain cream cheese. Nothing like Boursin, but still excellent, Heck you could probably use a thick cream based chip-dip... Can't believe I just wrote that.
- Fruiliano - this is amazing cheese, subtle yet rich, a touch nutty, like hazelnuts with just the right amount of melty chew. So good, but even pre-covid it was sometimes hard to find. Mozzarella, provolone or even a mild Jack cheese would work.
- Yellow potatoes - Red or white work fine, just cut them thinner. With yellow, you can cut them a little thicker due to the slightly waxy texture. I didn't have yellow for this recipe. eh, use what you have...
- Pine nuts - These are not always easy to get, plus they are nucking futs expensive. Coarse chopped almonds work, as do pistachio, or pecans. Walnuts are a touch bitter, and peanuts, well... if that's all you have maybe just skip that ingredients. Another non-nut substitute is shelled pumpkin seeds.
- Fresh herbs - this is a hard one, but you just need something. Chives or green onions are good. Parsley is nice, but maybe you have nothing green and fresh. Dried oregano or some thyme would work, or even a little Italian seasoning - just pick out the chunky rosemary.
- Red onions - Shallots or a nice sweet yellow onion is great. If you are ambitious, caramelize a bunch of onions and strew those about on the potatoes, tastes even better then the red.
- Yeast - tricky but not the worst, just takes longer as you have to brew your own starter.
- Salt/sugar - Not having salt for the dough, not the end of the world but the dough is going to taste flat. Might sound quirky, but if you near the ocean, sub half the water for ocean salt water. Sugar, swap in a bit of mild honey, or don't add it at all, the rise will just be a bit slower is all.
- Flour - Um... it's just not the same. If you have some pre-made shells or gluten free shells, it might work (just watch your heat). And please, please, do not talk to me about using cauliflower...
Any whooo, lets cook.
Step 1: Ingredients - Ingredienti
- 3 cups all purpose white unbleached flour
- 1 & 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt - I used pink, because its what i have left...
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, yes you could use other oils
- a bit of cornmeal
- 1 cup (about) - Soft spreadable goats cheese or Boursin or....
- 2-3 potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 kg of shredded Fruiliano cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs - I used a mix of oregano, sage and a tiny bit of lavender.
- Fresh rosemary is the best if available
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
Step 2: Dough - Impasto
The dough is rather simple
- Combine the dry ingredients under the dough section
- Add the water and oil.
- Stir to combine and you will have a very, very wet and sticky dough. At this point you have several options
- Stir like crazy for 15 minutes, put it in a food processor and zoom for a couple of minutes and hope it doesn't catch on fire or if you a have a strong mixer, mix for 3-4 minutes until you have a very smooth, but sticky dough
- Be lazy and let time do the mixing. Simple wrap the top of the bowl with some cling wrap and park it on your counter overnight. During its long rest, gluten strands will naturally develop. Not only is the method easier, the flavor from a long slow rise will give you a much deeper flavor. Yes, laziness wins
- If you went with option 1, allow to rise after mixing for at least 2 hours
- You don't have to do anything, it rose while it mixed itself.
Step 3: Toppings - Condimenti
Toppings take minutes to get ready and the potato needs to be sliced right before you pop it in the oven
- Shave your red onion into super thin slices - a mandolin is your friend
- Slice your herbs, try not to over do it as this bruises them and they don't like that.
- Shred you cheese
- have you pine nuts, olive oil, salt-n-peppa ready to go
- Slice your potatoes minutes before putting on the pizza, or they curl and turn brown - ew
Step 4: Stretch - Allungare
- On a cookie sheet, lay a piece of parchment paper. Scatter some cornmeal onto the paper.
- With very well oiled hands, scoop up a mass of dough about the size of a tennis ball.
- Gently stretch it out to about 12 inches long and let it plop onto the cornmeal covered parchment.
- It will be about 2.5 inches wide and probably 1/2 inch thick. Gently massage it out to about 3.5 to 4 inches wide
Step 5: Assemble - Montare
- Pre-heat your oven to about 460 degrees Celsius.
- You wont be able to spread the goat cheese on such soft dough, instead crumble it up and let the chips fall where they may.
- Put a overlapping layer of potato on top.
- Lay your shave onions over top followed by the herbs, season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle on a light layer of cheese (I love a very cheesy pizza, but this time less is more).
- Dot the top with pine nuts and drizzle with some olive oil.
Step 6: Bake - Infornare
- Slide the cookie sheet with the Pizza on it into the oven (Middle rack) for about 15-20 minutes.
- At the 15 minute mark, give it a peak. Don't be shy about lifting up the edge to peek under the crust to make sure its not browning too much.
- It is done when the cheese is peppered with golden marks. A little scorched crust is a good thing.
Step 7: Nom Nom Nom - Nom Nom Nom - Huh, It's Universal
Slice it on an angle and enjoy.
I took mine out to the garden where with a touch of evil, I snapped a picture of it sitting beside the very oregano plant that helped to season it.
Participated in the
Pizza Speed Challenge 2020