As I wrote this, one of our nation’s culinary leaders, Nancy Silverton, was sick with COVID-19 (she has since recovered). When L.A.’s restaurants had to close in March, she turned her seminal Pizzeria Mozza into a relief kitchen, providing free meals to suddenly unemployed restaurant workers from across the city—an effort made possible by a grant from Maker’s Mark bourbon. I’m sharing this pizza recipe from her wonderful The Mozza Cookbook, because A) I could live on pizza; B) Silverton’s restaurants have made my city so much richer and more delicious; and C) it’s a form of a prayer for her strength and recovery. By Colleen Dunn Bates
- 3 ounces small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 potatoes)
- 1 round pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, cut into half-inch cubes
- 3 ounces shredded sottocenere al tartufo (mild truffle cheese)
- 1 ounce Fontina, cut into half-inch cubes
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an extreme bias starting at the green ends and moving toward the root ends (white and green parts)
- 2 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided use
- 1 extra-large farm-fresh egg
- Maldon sea salt or another flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel
Steam potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside until they are cool enough to touch. Use a small, sharp knife to remove the peels; discard the peels. Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place in a small bowl.
Remove oven racks and place a pizza stone on the oven floor. (Or, use the underside of a thick baking sheet.) Preheat oven to 500 degrees for a full hour. Prepare and stretch the dough. Brush the rim of the dough with olive oil and season entire surface with salt. Scatter the mozzarella, sottocenere, and fontina cubes over the surface of the pizza. Scatter scallion slices over the cheeses, lay potato slices on top of scallions, and sprinkle potato slices with salt. Cut bacon slices in half crosswise and lay one half onto each quadrant of the pizza. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon thyme leaves over the top and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until pizza is halfway done.
Crack the egg into a small bowl; remove pizza from the oven and slide the egg onto the center of the pizza. Return to the oven and bake until crust is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pizza and cut it into quarters, stopping at the edge of the egg so it stays intact, and making sure that each slice gets a piece of bacon. Sprinkle the egg with the sea salt, sprinkle the remaining thyme leaves over the pizza, and serve.