Pizza with Brie, Pancetta, Leeks and Apple (French Pig Pizza)

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This could be one of my all-time faves. It’s got Brie, which checks off my need for cheese. It’s got pancetta, that’s sauteed up nice and crispy and adds a salty crunch. It’s got homemade pizza dough, another favorite. And it adds some savory yumminess with leeks and a spike of tartness from the apple. Top with balsamic drizzle. Oh yes. Thanks to Guy Fieri for this awesome recipe from his cookbook “Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It.”

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This was awesome fresh out of the oven as well as reheated. How gorgeous is that?

TW’s Tips

  • If you reheat the leftovers, highly recommend using the oven or a toaster oven versus the microwave so you still get some crunch. The microwave makes it all chewy.
  • I bought the pizza dough pre-made at Whole Foods, but you could choose to make it yourself. Trader Joe’s also sells a frozen dough.
  • I bought the pancetta pre-diced which made my life much easier. If you don’t, make sure you buy it from the deli (it’s got to be a nicer deli that sells pancetta) and have the butcher thick slice it for you. Traditionally pancetta will be sliced really thin and you don’t want that here.
  • The better the cheese, the better the pizza. Amen to that.

Pizza with Brie, Pancetta, Leeks and Apple (French Pig Pizza)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 cups leek matchsticks (2 by 1/4 inch, white and light green parts only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 Granny Smith or similar tart, firm apple, peeled and cut into 2 by 1/4-inch matchsticks
  • One 10-ounce ball pizza dough
  • 4 to 5 ounces Brie cheese with rind, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet and add the leeks. Sprinkle with the pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks start to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes more, until the apples are golden but not falling apart. Turn off the heat.

Stretch the dough into a round. Top with the apple and leek mixture, then the Brie.

Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with the pancetta, drizzle with the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, slice and serve.

Zucchini and Olive Flatbread

More zucchini! While sometimes it can feel like a chore to figure out how to use an ingredient I have on hand, experimenting with zucchini recipes has been fun (and delicious)! This one for zucchini and olive flatbread was ahhh-mazing.

This is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, and SO simple you’ll be shocked. The key is good pizza dough, fresh zucchini and quality pecorino romano. I bought my pizza dough at the farmer’s market from an Italian restaurant — SO good — but get the pre-made kind in the freezer section and you’ll be fine. I buy my good, hard cheeses at Costco — they come in big blocks but a cheese like pecorino romano or Parmigiano Reggiano will last you a long time in the fridge. It’s worth it for the quality of the cheese.

I loved the crunch of the super fresh pizza dough, freshness of the zucchini, topped with the melty mozzarella and salty pecorino romano cheese and olives. It’s also great reheated!

TW’s Tips

  • I used kalamata olives instead of black olives — I think either one would be amazing, but the kalamatas added a bit more saltiness and a definite kick. I’m a big kalamata fan, so I loved it.
  • For leftovers, cut the remaining flatbread into single serving slices, wrap in foil and throw in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus extra, for drizzling
  • 1 large (8 ounce) zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup pitted sliced black olives

Directions

Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. With a pastry brush, brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the dough. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on top of the dough. Drizzle the zucchini with oil.

Bake the dough for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove the bread from the oven, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of oregano, the cheeses, and the olives. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheeses are melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle the flatbread with the remaining oregano, cut into wedges and serve.