Pecorino, Pear, Walnut & Honey Pizzettes


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.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Pecorino, Pear, Walnut & Honey Pizzettes

A great party idea, or these pizzette can be enjoyed as a mid-day snack.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Divide the dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/3 of an inch thickness.
  3. 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.
  4. Use the other half of the dough to cut out more circles.
  5. Thinly slice the pears.
  6. Use your fingers to pull the dough into a 4 inch round and place as many as will fit onto a baking sheet.
  7. Brush the top of the pizzas lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with the shredded melting cheese.
  8. Top with two pear slices per pizzette, and then some of the aged pecorino shavings.
  9. Sprinkle on some of the chopped walnuts and then drizzle with a little of the honey.
  10. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
  11. The honey will caramelize on top and get quite dark but is delicious anyway.
  12. Serve immediately.