I cooked a bit of an unusual pizza recently on a whim, and it turned out pretty well! I was inspired by a new (to me) cheese that I found at the markets. It’s called Stracchino, and is a soft cows milk cheese. It has a lovely delicate flavour with a hint of sweetness combined with a little tangy-ness. It melts amazingly, turning into a soft, sticky and creamy puddle.
I wanted to match this up with some ingredients that would complement the sweet cheese as well as something to contrast with the sweet flavours. This is what I came up with. The sweetness of cooked leeks is nice with this cheese and the contrasting texture of slightly crunchy/slippery leek with the smooth melted Stracchino worked well. Pieces of tomato and mushroom are little bursts of intense flavour to contrast with the smooth sweetness of the cheese and leek.
- Pizza dough (I made one massive pizza with a 500g dough ball, you could also make 2 smaller ones with these quantities of toppings)
- Pizza sauce
- 2 Leeks
- Good handful of button Swiss brown mushrooms
- 2 Ripe tomatoes, diced
- 300g or so Stracchino. You could use mozzarella if you absolutely can’t find this, it will still work well with these toppings
- Cut the green tops off the leeks and discard. Wash the leeks well. Dice and saute in olive oil with one crushed clove of garlic until translucent.
- Tip the mushrooms into a hot pan, and leave them to cook until starting to brown, shaking to stop them burning.
- Shape your pizza base and spread with a thin layer of sauce.
- Scatter a few pinches of paprika over the tomato sauce. It’s amazing how much of a difference there is between a good quality paprika versus the ones I have tried from supermarkets!
- Scatter the leek mixture evenly over the base.
- Slice the cheese and tear each slice into chunks. Scatter evenly over the pizza. Make sure to leave some gaps so that the crust doesn’t get too moist.
- Now scatter over the mushrooms and diced tomatoes. Don’t overdo it – a good guide is to end up with around 2 pieces of each per slice, on average.
- Cook on a preheated pizza stone or any other cooking method of your choice.