The Missing Ingredient
When you’re working on a pizza recipe, sometimes you hit a mental block. Your pizza is missing something and you can’t quite figure it out. It happens to me all the time when I am testing out a pizza for a competition. I feel that every pizza should have three to four flavor profiles (sweet, salty, savory, acidic).
Savory has several flavor profiles all its own, so I simplified them. And, remember, sweet doesn’t have to be sugary — it can be the sweetness of basil or of a ripe heirloom tomato. Since International Pizza Expo is happening now, here is a great example of a classic Italian pizza recipe and a list of my go-to “missing ingredients.” These are things to turn to when you can’t quite figure out what is missing from your pizza recipe.
All of these missing ingredients can be used on most pizzas, and all of them impact the flavor dramatically in the perfect way. But first, here’s a base recipe so you can see how the “missing ingredients” list can impact a finished pie.
Prosciutto Arugula Pizza
- 1 12-ounce dough ball
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 7 ounces whole-milk mozzarella
- 2-3 ounces sliced Prosciutto di Parma
- ½ cup Arugula
- “Missing” Finishing Ingredient Options:
- Shaved Parmigiano (salty/savory)
- Fresh squeezed lemon wedge (citrus/acidity/savory)
- Minced Calabrian peppers (spicy hot/savory)
- Piquante pepper juice (sweet and sour/pickled flavor/savory)
- Hot pepper oil (spicy hot/savory)
- Agave nectar or honey drizzle (sweet)
- Maldon or Pink Himalayan salt pinch (salty/savory)
- Garlic-infused olive oil drizzle (savory)
- Balsamic reduction drizzle (acidity/sweet)
- Shape and stretch your pizza into a 12- to 13-inch circle.
- Add the tomato sauce, leaving a ¼-inch border.
- Place the cheese on the pizza and place the pizza into the oven.
- When your pizza is done baking, remove it from the oven and cut into desired slices.
- Lay the prosciutto over the pizza, then add the arugula.
- Above are a series of ingredient options that pair well with this pizza and many others. Choose any one or two of the missing ingredients to perfect the pizza to your liking. (Note: The juice from the piquante peppers can be used to toss the arugula in. It creates a delicious sweet and sour/pickled flavor.)