I had the good fortune to get a reservation at Pizzeria Mozza for my birthday lunch with co-workers. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with L.A., I wouldn’t have been sitting in a world-famous restaurant unless I moved here. So, it was a bit of a peace offering. Great pizza in exchange for a few more smiles driving around town.
It was the first visit each of us (a hungry group of six), so we decided to order five pizzas to share. Of all the slices I had, hands down, this was my absolute favorite. The mushrooms were so rich and flavorful (likely sautéed in butter), the cheese creamy and light, and the thyme echoed the earthiness of the mushrooms. I might not have the pizza dough perfected quite yet, but I figured I could do a decent job attempting the flavors of this pizza at home. So here’s my version of Nancy Silverton’s funghi misti pizza.
Pizza with Mushrooms and Thyme
The measurements are approximate. Depending on the size of your dough, you may need more or less cheese. Just eyeball everything and use any amount you'd like!
Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
Mushrooms, sliced (I had one large portobello and 10 crimini mushrooms to work with, about 2 cups when sliced. I would use a minimum of this amount. If you have access to more, use more.)
1 cup grated Taleggio Cheese
1 cup grated Fontina Cheese
3-5 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and Pepper
Cornmeal, for dusting
1. Add mushrooms to a sauté pan with a tab of butter and the olive oil. Stir to coat. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through and softened. Add thyme, salt and set aside.
2. If using a pizza stone, slide it in a preheated oven (the highest your oven will go) for 30 minutes prior to baking. Roll out pizza dough and place it on a cornmeal-dusted peel. Top with both cheeses, then spread the reserved mushrooms over the top. Brush the crust with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is bubbly.
Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
So, you might know that I don't always have time for pizza dough. But last Friday evening, I did. I used active dry instead of instant yeast, and let it rise for an hour instead of my usual 20 minutes. Actually, I might like this dough better. It was flavorful, easy to work with, and a snap to put together, even after coming home from a long day at work.
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the warm water and yeast with your fingers until blended. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add flour and salt. Add oil. The dough should begin pulling away from the bowl easily. Continue to knead on medium speed for about 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth.
2. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draft-free area until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the down dough and divide into 2 equal balls. (The dough can be used immediately or stored airtight in the refrigerator for 1 day.)