We are very fond of enjoying a cheese course after our meal in place of dessert, and since moving to Umbria we have developed an entirely new appreciation for pecorino, a variety of cheese made from sheep milk. My favorite combination includes a wedge of aged pecorino with a drizzle of artisan honey, a few walnuts, a slice of pear and a piece of crusty Italian bread.
I recently began putting together a few recipes for the wine tasting we are offering our guests, and I decided to create small pizzas, or pizzettes topped with these ingredients. For my recipe I combined a young pecorino, a melting cheese, with aged pecorino shavings, thin slices of pear, nuts, and a little mountain honey. You could use any two flavorful cheeses that you prefer, but one of them should be a cheese that melts. In the photos, I initially used larger sized circles of dough and pine nuts, but found that size was a tad tricky to serve as finger food so I decreased the size (noted in the recipe). I also found I preferred walnuts to pine nuts, but either will work fine.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 Pound Pizza Dough
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 3 Cups Shredded Young Pecorino (Or Other Melting Cheese)
- 1 1/2 Cups Aged Pecorino Shavings
- 2 Large Ripe Pears
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts (or Pine Nuts)
- 1/4 Cup Artisan Honey
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Divide the dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/3 of an inch thickness.
- Use a 3 inch round biscuit or cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can and set these aside and cover with a towel to rest for 10 minutes.
- Use the other half of the dough to cut out more circles.
- Thinly slice the pears.
- Use your fingers to pull the dough into a 4 inch round and place as many as will fit onto a baking sheet.
- Brush the top of the pizzas lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with the shredded melting cheese.
- Top with two pear slices per pizzette, and then some of the aged pecorino shavings.
- Sprinkle on some of the chopped walnuts and then drizzle with a little of the honey.
- Bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
- The honey will caramelize on top and get quite dark but is delicious anyway.
- Serve immediately.