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Sicilian-Style Pizza with Sweet Potatoes, Bacon, Provolone and Chives

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Serves 4

Yields 1 12-inch round or 13 x 18-inch rectangular pizza

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

The extra-thick Sicilian-style crust in this pizza gets a bit of nutty crunch from cornmeal in the dough. Sweet potatoes are an unexpected topping, but when sliced super-thin, they bake up tender and sweet, with the bacon providing a salty counterpoint.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1-1/2 lb. Make-Ahead Pizza Dough, cornmeal variation (3/4 of the full recipe, a dough ball about the size of a grapefruit)
  • 1 scant cup Easy Pizza Sauce 
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced provolone
  • 3 oz. thick slab bacon, diced and cooked until just shy of crisp
  • 3 oz. raw sweet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 1/2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh chives

At least 30 minutes before baking, position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and if using a pizza stone, set it on the rack. (If you don’t have a stone, use a heavy-duty 13x18-inch baking sheet lightly oiled with olive oil.) Heat the oven to 500°F. If using a pizza stone, dust a peel with unbleached all-purpose flour.

While the oven heats, generously flour the dough and then stretch and tuck it under itself, giving it quarter turns as you form a ball of dough with a smooth top. Let rest on the work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, prep all the toppings as directed in the ingredient list before you begin shaping your dough.

Once the dough has rested, very lightly flour your work surface and lay your dough ball in the center of the floured area. Flour your hands and then, using your palms and fingertips, press and stretch the dough into a rough circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Or use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle; if sticky spots occur, flour your fingertips (or your rolling pin) and continue stretching the dough. Flip the dough occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the work surface, and use a dough scraper to detach the dough from the work surface if it does stick. If the dough continually contracts, let it rest, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before resuming the stretching process. It’s OK if your dough isn’t a perfect circle. Transfer the stretched dough to the prepared pizza peel or baking sheet (if using a baking sheet, try to press the dough all the way out to the corners).

Using the back of a large spoon, spread the tomato sauce onto the stretched dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border. Distribute the provolone, bacon, and sweet potatoes evenly over the sauce.

If using a baking sheet, put it on the rack. If using a pizza stone, shake the peel a bit to make sure the pizza isn’t stuck and then slide the pizza off the peel and onto the heated stone (Aim for the back of the stone and place the end of the peel there). Bake, turning the pizza with a peel or tongs if one side browns faster than the other, until the crust is nicely browned and crisp and the cheese is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes on a pizza stone, or 25 to 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, scatter the chives over the pizza, and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes before cutting it with a pizza wheel, kitchen shears, or a chef’s knife.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 1/4 of the pizza; Calories (kcal): 650; Fat (g): fat g 24; Fat Calories (kcal): 220; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 27; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 79; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1190; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 45; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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