Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mmm... sacrilicious

Ask anyone who knows me in real life, or anyone who has read my book: I am extremely particular about my pizza toppings. Generally speaking, I will only eat one topping: pepperoni. If there's no pepperoni available, I will grudgingly eat plain cheese pizza. Vegetarian pizza can go to hell, and I don't even dig on sausage and mushroom pies. But things may be changing.

A couple years ago, Liz and I discovered this recipe for white pizza topped with arugula. It's totally great, and it totally violates my pizza principles. We've added it to our regular pizza rotation.

Now there may be another candidate. A few weeks ago up at Crippen Creek, Don whipped up a variety of small pizzas for dinner, including the usual suspects... pepperoni, margarita, cheese... and a bacon/garlic/spinach concoction that really got my attention. In fact, as I was waiting for a hot pepperoni pie to come out of the oven, I sneaked a slice. One slice turned into two. Then the next day, when we were heating up leftover pizza for lunch, I found myself reaching for the bacon/garlic/spinach slices before I reached for pepperoni.

It was pizza sacrilege, pure and simple. But you better believe that it was worth every last sinful bite. Here's how to make your own:

Make or buy your usual pizza dough. Cook up some bacon, I recommend Fletcher's. When the dough is ready for toppings, drizzle olive oil, salt and minced raw garlic generously over the top. Add a handful of baby spinach leaves, top with mozzarella, then sprinkle your chopped bacon on top. Grate some parmigiano over the top of everything. It should look roughly like this:

And here it is out of the oven:

Now obviously bacon is a pork product... and not entirely unlike pepperoni. And yeah, I love bacon... so it's not like these toppings are a total stretch. But the raw garlic and spinach transform the pizza from a mere variant of pepperoni into something special that deserves its own place in my exclusive pantheon of pizza toppings. You could also try adding goat cheese and/or arugula (which is what Liz did) for a kind of hybrid between the bacon pizza and Ina Garten's White Pizza.

Coming soon: I have Sunday Gravy (spaghetti and meatballs) simmering on the stove right now. It's in hour 2 of a 4-5 hour simmer, and I'll post a report in the following days.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bloggin' 2: Electric Blogaloo

One post per year, Fazio? That's all we get? Nah, Viva Robusto is blowing up huge in 2011. Since I've been away for so long, the least I can do is start off with some photos.

Fried chicken with bacon'd greens and mashed potatoes

Pumpkin pasta with pork belly

White pizza topped with arugula and lemon vinaigrette

Crippen Creek pork chop with roasted brussel sprouts and salad

Thanksgiving dinner rolls

And my signature home-baked rustic loaf

So, as you can see, I never stopped taking photos of the food we prepared, I just stopped blogging about it. In my defense, I did spend some of the time I wasn't blogging publishing a book, moving into a house (and painting every room), having a baby and working a full-time job.

However, since the ad agency I was working for has more or less decided to move to Ohio, I have a lot more time on my hands. And my loss is your gain, Viva Robusto faithful!

Look for updates soon and on the regular. And I mean it this time.