Winter is upon us, and a lack of farm-fresh vegetables requires a bit of creativity in the kitchen. The contrast in colors and sweet-and-salty flavor makes this one a winner. Try it as a special to get your customers interested. For more winter ingredient recipes, see The Big Chill.
1 19-ounce proprietary dough
1 ounce or half a handful of fresh whole spinach leaf
2½ ounces of imported Teleggio (DOP)
5-6 ounces of butternut squash (Prepare as
directed below with equal amounts of cinnamon,
vanilla and maple syrup with nutmeg and water)
3½ ounces (one thick slice) of Italian-style pancetta (Bacon is too strong for this recipe.)
1 ounce raw hazelnuts
Local honey for drizzling
Optional: 3 ounces Crescenza
For the squash, pre-heat the oven to 400 F. To render the butternut squash, cut it first across to obtain round sections that are two inches high. Put these sections flat on the cutting board and trim the skin off of them. Then cut them into quarters so you can cut the stringy inside off also. These can then be cut again into smaller inch-wide chunks.
Place the butternut squash chunks in a bowl and coat with the same amount of honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and vanilla essence. Add a little hot water and toss in the bowl. Pour the mix on a foil-lined tray and insert into a 475 F oven. Cook until fork tender, tossing occasionally. Take out of the oven and cool, and then slice into small thin squares that will spread nicely on the pizza.
Cube the pancetta and then cut the raw hazelnuts with a sharp knife. Cook the pancetta over the stove in a sauté pan or pot. Briefly sauté on medium-high heat until partially cooked.
Add the chopped hazelnuts to the pot. Toss under the same heat for one minute. Add two tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan. Cook in the pancetta juice for one minute more.
Remove and reserve for the pizza.
Place the spinach, the teleggio and the sliced butternut squash on the pizza dough round. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes at 500 F or until golden brown and done. Finish with honey drizzle.