PIZZA WITH GUANCIALE, CASTELVETRANO OLIVES & FRESNO CHILI – A RECIPE BY TRAVIS LETT
MAKES ONE 10- TO 12-IN [25- TO 30.5-CM] PIZZA / For anyone not yet acquainted with guanciale, it is the delicately spiced, unsmoked cousin to bacon. It has much more fat than bacon, and a sweet, subtle flavor. And it crisps perfectly when it cooks. Here, we pair it with buttery green Castelvetrano olives, the mild heat of Fresno chili, and a scattering of roughly chopped rosemary.
Semolina flour for dusting
One 6 1⁄2 oz. [185 g] ball (Gjelina) pizza dough proofed and stretched until 10 – 12 in [25 to 30.5 cm] in diameter
1/3 cup [75 ml] pomodoro sauce
4 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and broken into quarters
1 Fresno chili, or another medium-hot green or red chili, sliced and seeds removed
1 1⁄2 oz. [40 g] mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
1 1⁄2 oz. [40 g] asiago cheese
1 1⁄2 oz. [40 g] thinly sliced guanciale
2 pinches of roughly chopped fresh rosemary
Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven to the highest possible setting, at least 500F [260C], for 1 hour. Lightly dust a pizza peel or a rimless baking sheet with semolina flour.
Using your forearms or the backs of your hands, transfer the stretched round of dough to the prepared peel.
With a large spoon, gently spread the pomodoro sauce evenly across the dough, leaving a 1-in [2.5-cm] border without any sauce. Scatter the olives, chili, and mozzarella on top. With a vegetable peeler, shave the asiago over the top. Add the guanciale last so that it will get crisp as it cooks.
Slide the dough onto the pizza stone in the oven and bake, allowing it to bubble up and rise, 4 to 5 minutes. Once the rim starts to look pillowy and airy, using the pizza peel, turn the pizza 180 degrees to ensure that it browns evenly all over. It’s ready when the rim is a deep golden brown and beginning to char, and the bottom of the pizza is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Using the peel or rimless baking sheet, transfer the pizza to a cutting board or baking sheet with a rim. Sprinkle the rosemary on top. Slice and serve hot.