Homemade pizza is one of our staples. It's simple, delicious and the possibilities are endless. So you can imagine our excitement to taste it fresh from the source while visiting Italy. It was made a tradition to find pizza at 4pm every afternoon in whatever Tuscan city we found ourselves. While all were delicious, arriving in different shapes and sizes, it was in Lucca that one stood out from the rest. A small, round pie topped with tomato sauce, mascarpone cheese and prosciutto. It was the mascarpone that intrigued us as it's usually an ingredient used in desserts. Well, turns out you can use it in anything, because the combo was to die for. We were determined to try and replicate it upon our return, so here we are! We located this similar, wonderful recipe using speck (prosciutto's smoked cousin). It may have been 9pm in NYC, but we were happily transported back to 4pm in Lucca.
So the easy way to make this recipe is to buy pre-made pizza dough and use a sauce that you have in the pantry. We can't guarantee it will taste as fresh or feel as rewarding, but it's a good option for those in a rush. But if you REALLY want to do it right, follow this recipe AND make a batch of your own mascarpone from scatch the night before. It’s pretty easy – simply heat cream to 195ºF or just before it reaches boiling point. Add some lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon per 500 ml of cream). Then pour into a sieve lined with layers of damp cheesecloth or muslin over a bowl and leave, covered, overnight in the fridge. It’s ready after about 8 hours – firm, creamy and fresh.
Served on a wooden board and garnished with fresh basil for an authentic, Italian experience.