Pizza Bianca With Fresh Figs, Prosciutto & Arugula

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My fig season here in Umbria is way too short for my liking, but when figs are ripe and ready I spend a lot of time finding ways to use them in my recipes. Last month I was home alone one evening and craving pizza, and after looking through the refrigerator I realized my options were somewhat limited until I spied the big, fat figs I had just picked that day. I already had prosciutto and a couple of varieties of cheese in the refrigerator, so I picked some wild arugula from our garden and made this pizza. I have made this pizza a number of times in the past and varied the recipe often, but the recipe below has become my favorite way to combine these ingredients.

Some recipes call for a light spread of fig jam on the pizza dough under the other ingredients, but I personally find it too sweet. I also do not care for tomato sauce on this pizza as I find it masks the flavor of the figs, and therefore I prefer “pizza bianca, or white pizza. Figs and prosciutto are a perfect flavor combination as the sweetness of the figs is gently balanced by the salty prosciutto. I also like to use a combination of mozzarella and taleggio cheeses as, quite frankly, I love taleggio and find it’s slightly musty flavor goes so well on this pizza. I prefer to use the arugula as more of a garnish which is added just before serving after the pizza has been baked, as I find if overused, the peppery flavor of this tasty green can overpower the subtle flavors of this dish.

You can either buy your pizza dough already made, or use one of my favorite recipes found in my Pizza Category. Do ensure your dough is at room temperature before you try and make the pizza so the dough stretches well. If you can stretch your dough by hand rather than using a rolling pin, it will be lighter and have more air holes once baked.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2013

Pizza Bianca With Fresh Figs, Prosciutto & Arugula

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Pizza Dough, Divided
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Cubed Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Diced Tallegio Cheese
  • 8 Fresh, Medium Sized Figs, Quartered
  • 8 Thin Slices Prosciutto
  • 1 Cup Arugula, Washed & Dried
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a pizza stone in a cold oven and preheat to 450°F.
  2. Divide the pizza dough into two, and place each ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Roll out the dough by hand or with a pin into a 13 inch circle and transfer to a floured pizza peel.
Brush the dough with the olive oil.
  4. Top each of the pizzas with half the mozzarella and half the taleggo cheese, and arrange the figs on top.
  5. Carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone, and bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted, 15 to 18 minutes.
  6. Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board.
  7. Tear each of the prosciutto slices in half and arrange them on top of each pizza.
  8. Scatter the arugula on top of each pizza, sprinkle with black pepper, cut into slices and serve immediately.