My all time favorite pizza topping combination is bacon onion and tomato. To me it’s the perfect combination of flavors on a pizza. It’s really all about the simplicity and the quality of the ingredients… for this one I used dough from Pizzeria Delfina, roasted garlic, Muir Glen Yolo Gold canned tomatoes, Calabro mozzarella, homemade guanciale, and scallions.
Let’s break it down step by step, one ingredient at a time in order of assembly…
Guanciale Onion Tomato Pizza
Semolina or cornmeal to dust the underside of your dough
Pizza dough – make it, buy it, whatever
Roasted garlic – not absolutely necessary but what isn’t better with garlic?
Tomatoes – canned, sauce, sliced fresh tomatoes… whatever you have – I prefer canned San Marzano or sliced heirlooms
Guanciale – or bacon, pancetta… whatever
Scallions – whites to cook and greens for garnish
Pecorino or hard parmesan – optional but… great
Sea salt – large grain
Dough – the single most important part of the pie. You can’t make pizza without dough – everything else is replaceable.
When I have time I love to make the dough myself… maybe sometime soon I’ll share that one. Recently though, I found out something that’s pretty great when you don’t have time to wait around for your yeast to get it on – many pizza joints will sell you uncooked portioned dough that is ready to go. Just so happens that my two favorite spots for pizza in my hood sell their dough – one is Arinell’s, the best NY style pizza in SF in my opinion, and the other is Delfina, which is constantly touted as one of the best pizza joints in the city. It’s pretty great to grab a ball of dough to use yourself that you know was made right and can get the job done well.
Roasted Garlic – garlic always has a place on pie.
Some people call it garlic confit when they’re trying to make it sound fancier than it really is… it’s just roasted garlic. Whatever you call it doesn’t change the fact that it’s just plain good shit. It’s so easy to make and it transforms strong sticky pungent garlic into a smooth, rich, deep, caramelized garlicky paste
Tomatoes – if you’re making traditional pizza, probably the second most important ingredient.
I love to just use San Marzano canned tomatoes and crush em up with my fingers. This time I tried something else. It’s a pretty funny concept and honestly could be pretty brilliant marketing if it works… they’re treating these tomatoes like wine – Muir Glen Organic Yolo Gold 2009 Reserve. Really? Whatever…
Mozzarella – by no means the only cheese you can use but definitely the traditional choice.
In its many forms, mozzarella always seems to work well on pizza, one way or another. This time I chose this old fashioned Calabro mozzarella. It’s slightly softer than commercial mozz and has a smooth, mild flavor.
Guanciale – The bacon part of this equation can really just be any type of salted pig part… bacon, pancetta, guanciale, ham, prosciutto… the important part is that it’s salty and meaty.
Like bacon, guanciale keeps well for months frozen. Because it’s so fatty and pig fat is such an amazing and delicious substance, it goes from frozen to ready to use pretty much immediately. You don’t have to worry about having to thaw or anything… just take it out, slice it up, toss it in the frying pan and you’re rolling. The ultimate convenience meat – keeps well, tastes great and easy to use. I sliced it thin and fried it like bacon until it crisped up a bit.
Scallions – you can use whatever onions you have… green, white, yellow, red…
I used scallions because I had them – and because I love the versatility… white bottoms cooked onto the pizza and then greens on top after cooking.
I topped it off with a little bit of Pecorino Romano and some large grained sea salt and then, into the oven.
You can crank your oven as high as you want, it won’t ever be as hot as it gets in the ovens they use at pizza joints. So sit your baking stone on the floor of your oven and fire that baby up. If you don’t have a baking stone, flip a baking sheet over and use the bottom of it as a flat surface to cook your pie on. It’ll slide right off.
They gave me the dough in a to-go pizza box so I tossed it back in for a little photo shoot.
Oh and I top it off with Frank’s. I prefer hot sauce to crushed red pepper… it just works.