Artichoke and Leek Pizza
2 medium Sized artichokes or 4 small
1/2 Lemon for preparing artichokes
1 oz. Pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon Olive oil preferably extra virgin
1 Onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large leek, thoroughly cleaned and sliced thinly
3/4 lb. Pizza Dough
Semolina or cornmeal for dusting
2/3 cup Mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
3 tablespoon Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place a pizza stone, baking tiles or an inverted baking sheet on the lowest rack
of a cold oven; preheat for 30 minutes to 500 degrees F or the highest setting.
For each of the artichokes, peel away and discard the tough outer leaves,
snapping them off at the base, until you reach the pale yellow leaves with the
darker green tops. Slice off the darkest green top and rub the artichoke with
the cut side of the lemon half.
With a paring knife, trim the artichoke where you snapped off the leaves,
removing any green portions. Rub with lemon. Trim the bottom 1/4 inch off the
stem and pare away the tough outer skin. With a melon baller or paring knife,
remove the fuzzy choke from the center of the artichoke. Cut the heart into
quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 pieces. Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of
water and place the artichoke pieces into the acidulated water to keep them from
Heat a skillet over the medium heat, add pancetta and cook, stirring until
golden about 4 minutes. Drain the pancetta on paper towels. Pour off fat from
the skillet. Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil and onions to the skillet. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the drained artichoke pieces and stir to mix well. Add pepper and 2/3 cup
water. Cover and cook over low heat until the artichoke pieces are tender and
most of the liquid has cooked away, about 15 minutes. Add leeks and stir to mix
well. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if desired. Let cool completely.
Here we go with the dough again. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and
pat into a disk. Use a rolling pin or your hands to roll or stretch the dough
into a circle that is 1/4 inch thick and 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Transfer
to a semolina or cornmeal dusted pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Brush the
dough with a little of the remaining olive oil.
Distribute the artichoke mixture over the dough. Sprinkle the cheeses over the
artichoke mixture. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
Carefully slide the pizza onto the heated pizza stone and bake for 6 to 8
minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and browned and the top is bubbling.