Pizza Quattro Stagioni, a pizza that represents the four seasons and the ingredients that are known in Italy for those seasons. A beautiful way to pay homage to a food passionate culture dedicated to the freshness and simplicity of Italian cooking as a result in a most incredible textural and flavorful experience!
This pizza sounds too much more like a sampler if you ask me but I remember enjoying it some years ago in a long lost restaurant in a different country. This is all that I usually need to start digging information about a specific recipe, so here it is. It is divided in four sectors with different ingredients, one for each season. Probably Italians thought of this one too but for some reason I cannot find any lore about it, maybe is a closed guarded secret or they don’t really care too much about it. However, there are some basic rules regarding what ingredients go with what season, for example: spring belongs to cooked ham (prosciutto cotto) and black olives, summer goes with artichokes and anchovies, autumn with tomatoes mixed with mozzarella and finally winter, simply mushrooms. Personally I got lost when reading about artichokes because I don’t really like them but then I thought, “dude, you’re a foodie, grow a pair” so I went on with it, with some changes of my own of course.
INGERIDIENTS Pizza Dough:
- 500 g farina 00 (or all-purpose, or better, a mix of the two)
- 300 ml water, at room temperature
- 5 g fresh yeast (2 g dried yeast)
- pinch of sugar
- 35 g extra virgin olive oil
- 10 g sea salt
- 1 small can of stewed D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes pureed
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- Pinch of dried oregano
- A dash of salt and pepper
- ¼ cup mozzarella, shredded
- 1-2 oz Back bacon, thinly sliced
- 4-6 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
- 4-6 mushrooms, sliced and sauteed for a few minutes in a drop of olive oil
- 1 oz or less of sun-dried black olives
- ¼ cup Provolone cheese, cubed or sliced (your choice)
- 1 small can pizza sauce or you can make yours
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS :
- Preheat the oven to 500° F / 260° C.
- Roll out the pizza dough and don’t use cornmeal (that’s gross), instead drizzle a bit of olive oil then place your dough on the pan.
- Generously spread pizza sauce all over the dough then sprinkle shredded mozzarella.
- Visually divide the pizza into quarters and start filling them the way you see fit. Mine had artichokes on one side, Provolone and black olives on another, back bacon on third quarter and finally mushrooms.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is puffy-golden.
- In a medium saucepan or skillet, drizzle a good dose of olive oil and add in a clove of garlic peeled and cut in half. Saute until aromatic and oil is sizzling lightly. Add in the sliced fresh or canned mushrooms and stir to coat well.
- Season with sea salt and pepper and a splash of white wine. Let these sauté for about three to five minutes on medium heat or so until tender and flavorful (fresh mushrooms will release liquid, continue to sauté them until all the liquid has been absorbed.)
- Remove the mushrooms from the saucepan and set aside to cool. In the same skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil, a peeled and cut garlic clove and about a tablespoon or so of chopped sweet onion.
- Saute the onion and garlic until soft, remove the garlic and add in the frozen, rinsed and drained artichoke hearts. Stir well and season with sea salt, pepper and a good dose of white wine and on medium heat, sauté until all the artichokes are fork tender.
- Once they are cooked, remove from the heat and set aside. Using a large round pizza pan, coat the tray with lard or vegetable shortening until well covered.
- Take the pizza dough and begin to work the dough into a round shape, kneading and pulling the dough evenly on the round tray to reach all the edges and the preferred thickness is achieved.
- Take the summer tomato sauce and cover the surface of the pizza with the sauce leaving a rim around to form the crust.
- Next, season the pizza with a tiny bit of sea salt and black pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil.
- Beginning with the black olives, place them evenly across the first quadrant of the round pizza, next place the sautéed mushrooms on the next section, the sautéed artichoke hearts on the third section and the smoked ham pieces on the last section.
- Add a good amount of grated cheese over all the sections of the pizza and another light drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
- In a preheated oven set to 475 degrees fahrenheit (check your oven temps as the pizza cooks as each oven varies), place the pizza in the middle of the oven and bake until the crust turns to a golden dark brown and the toppings begin to sizzle.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, add slices of the fresh buffalo mozzarella over all the sections evenly spaced and add some fresh basil leaves evenly over the top.
- Place in the oven for a few more minutes until the mozzarella begins to soften and remove immediately and set aside to cool a bit before serving. Serve with your favorite red wine and enjoy!