Pizza is one of the things that I have been on a quest for for a while. I have tried various local pizza places, and several of them are doing a pretty good job with gluten-free pizza. It’s not the super thin crust that I grew up on in St Louis, but it is still pretty tasty. The downside for me is the cost. The amount of money you have to spend to get what is a small pizza is pretty outrageous. Sometimes, it is nice to be able to go out for pizza, but other times it is just not feasible. I used to eat frozen pizza as a quick meal when I didn’t feel like cooking anything. There are a few frozen gluten-free pizzas out there, but I really haven’t tried any of them. They are just too expensive for a frozen pizza.
I have tried a couple of pre-made pizza shells, and have found that they give me the speed, and convenience of a frozen pizza, but also give me a lot more flexibility, and are less expensive than the ready to cook frozen pizzas. So far the ones that I found that I like best are made by Udi’s Gluten Free Foods. I try to keep a couple of the shells in the freezer. At the end of a long day I can make myself a pizza, and enjoy. I obviously keep some cheese, and tomato sauce on hand for these occasions! Normally I just make a cheese pizza, and am pretty happy with that. My preference when I order a pizza was and still is italian sausage. The fennel seeds really work for me. I just don’t have that on hand most of the time.
At the moment what I do have is guanciale, which is a Roman jowl bacon. It is cured with red pepper flakes, brown sugar, black pepper, and rosemary(it is not smoked). It was made by a place called Salume Beddu. (I also picked up a piece of lardo there as well.) Since it is cured you can actually eat it without cooking it. I’ve been looking at it for a little while, and tonight I decided that I would make a pizza and the guanciale would be on it.
I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees, and left it alone for a while. I have a pizza stone, and that needs to be hot. The extra time it takes is worth it. The stone gets good and hot, and make the crust nice and crispy! I got the shell out of the freezer, added sauce and cheese, and thinly sliced the guanciale, and then cut it into strips. Then added that to the pizza as well. I put the pizzas on foil so I can easily slide them in and out of the oven. After ten minutes, the pizza was done! I have to say the guanciale was well worth the extra few seconds! It tasted similar to bacon, but with a slight twist! I’m would guess that the big difference from bacon is the lack of smoke and the rosemary.
From what I understand, guanciale is hard to find. If you can’t find any, your best bet is probably pancetta. Try it some time! I have more to do with the guanciale, so keep an eye out for bucatini all’amatricianna. Except I won’t use the right pasta. I’ll sub something that will be appropriate though.