Alice Waters’ Pizzetta with Farm Fresh Egg and Prosciutto

I’ve never had a pizza with an egg on it before, but it turns out, these chefs know what they’re talking about. The mixture of the egg on the onions and cheese created a very interesting quiche-like topping along with some delicious runny yokes. I recommend eating this with a fresh green salad with lots of chopped herbs and a light vinaigrette. Each pizzetta is about the right amount of food for one hungry person so make as many as you need.
I think this egg technique would also be good with a garlicy tomato sauce and grilled asparagus along with the fontina and onion… the options are endless.
What you need (for 1 pizzetta): 
  •  1 portion of pizza dough
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 a small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons grated mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons grated fontina cheese
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • optional: white truffle oil (or a white truffle!)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, with a pizza stone in the middle of the oven.
  2. Roll out the dough to an 8-9 inch round and place on a well floured peel (if you have one. We don’t, so I just used a cookie sheet.) 
  3. In a small bowl, cover the chopped garlic with olive oil, and then brush the mixture over the dough using a pastry brush. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Evenly distribute the onions across the dough, then evenly distribute the cheeses. 
  5. Place the pizzetta in the oven for about 5 minutes. 
  6. While the pizzetta is cooking, prepare the egg by cracking it into a small bowl and set near the oven. 
  7. Pull the rack that the pizzetta is sitting on out and carefully let the raw egg fall into place onto the cheese and onions. Slide the rack back in and cook for about another 5 minutes or until the white part of the egg looks set and the dough is golden. 
  8. Take the pizza out of the oven and drizzle with olive oil, and then place the slices of prosciutto over the pizza, but not covering the yolk. 
  9. If you have it, drizzle the pizza with white truffle oil (Alice says an actual truffle is best, but I don’t have that kind of money) and sprinkle the parsley over the pizza. Serve with a green salad. 



Alice Waters’ Pizza Dough

The Spice Raconteurs recently got married. (It was a blast, but that’s not really what this post is about.)

One of the cookbooks we received as a wedding gift is the Alice Water’s Cafe Cookbook with recipes for some of the delights she serves at the Chez Pannise Cafe in Berkeley, California.

Last year I took a trip to San Francisco to visit a dear friend and some family members. Because my friend had to work during the day, I took quite a few solo walks through the city. I went to some fun locations like the SF Academy of Sciences, Alcatraz and also took the BART to Berkeley. I also ate everwhere I went so when I went to Berkeley, I had to visit Chez Panisse. I was there for lunch so I visited the Chez Panisse Cafe and had one of the most delicious meals of my life– and wishing Edward was there to share with. Not long after my trip to San Fran, he and I took a road trip to Wyoming where we ended up getting engaged. So, Chez Pannise is mixed up into my vision of romance despite having gone there by myself. I can’t wait to share that dining experience with Edward some day. For now, we’ll have to content ourselves with the cookbooks.

One recipe that is included in the cookbook is for “Pizzetta with Farm Egg and Prosciutto” which I’ll post tomorrow. Today, we’ll dwell on making the dough which came together quite nicely. 

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast (about 1 packet)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2/3 cup bread flour 
  • 4 cups white flour (or 2 1/2  cups white and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup rye flour (or whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

What to do:

  1. Make the sponge by disolving the yeast in the water and adding the 2/3 cup of flour. Mix well, and then let sit for about 30 minutes until it is “quite bubbly”.
  2. Mix together the other dry ingredients (white, whole wheat and rye flours and salt) in a separate bowl. Now add a cup of this dry mixture to the sponge along with a cup of cold water. Mix thoroughly and let sit another 30 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the olive oil and mix by hand, or using a mixer with a dough hook, then knead about 5 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic. You want a “soft, slightly sticky” dough so add a little more flour if necessary, but not too much. 
  4. Place the dough in an oiled large bowl and cover with a towel. Put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, or about 2 hours. (At high altitude, this will take far less time. It took about 45 minutes for me. Someone concerned with the flavor of the bread could punch the dough and let rise again for another 45 minutes. Or, if you’re hungry, just use it after the first rise– it will still work fine.) 
  5. Punch down the dough and divide into portions– I separated my dough into 6 balls for the pizzettas– and smooth into nice round spheres. Alice recommends wrapping each ball in plastic and letting rest at room temperature for about an hour before shaping. I didn’t do this, however, and it worked out fine.
  6. Either roll out the dough balls to make a pizzetta, or you can store individually wrapped dough balls in the freezer. Just take them out and thaw in the refrigerator the night before.

Chana (Gobi) Masala


Indian food confounds me. There are so many spices that,  I don’t really have much experience with. With that in mind, I set out to find a good recipe with which to make Chana (Chickpea) Masala.

I tried one from Nirvana’s Kitchen which was pretty tasty. It has you flavor the cooking oil with whole cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks before you start cooking which lends a subtle, but tasty Indian flavor to the dish. The very next week, Smitten Kitchen posted a chana masala recipe, and was quickly tested over at Serious Eats. Those versions both hail from Madhur Jaffrey‘s Indian cookbooks and so are not terribly different.

Today I did my best to put together a recipe that took the best parts from both, added some cauliflower for a little texture and and came up with something pretty good, but I think someday it could be better.

2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil or ghee
2 cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
5 cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger (I used dried, but think fresh would be MUCH better)
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (taste to make sure your hot pepper isn’t too much first_
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-oz. can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
2/3 cup water
1 25 oz. can of chickpeas, drained (or 4 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon (juiced) (or use amchoor powder which I don’t have)

What to do:

  1. Put the oil in a large pan (I used our wok pan) and heat on low heat. And add the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom seeds and stir around. Let steep for a few minutes and then remove the spices
  2. Add the onions, cauliflower and jalapeno to the oil and cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent. 
  3. Add the spices to the oil and stir. Cook about a minute and then add the tomatoes and the chickpeas. 
  4. Cook about 15 minutes until the flavors meld. If you want to, put a dollop of plain yogurt into the mix (about 1/2 cup) while the flavors are developing for a slightly creamier consistency
  5. Serve with rice or whole wheat naan.