Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fontina, Caramelized Onion & Pancetta Pizza

A funny thing happens when you have a food blog (whether it be any good or not). Your friends and family start thinking of you as the "Foodie" in the group or the expert on all things cooking and/or baking.

While it's certainly flattering, I am far from an expert. But I do have a strong passion for food and I do love to cook and bake (and eat!). And because I'm passionate about these things, I have a food blog so I can share my experiences in the kitchen with all of you (whether you like it or not). :)

So when my friends email me or Facebook message me and say "I have a recipe you just HAVE to make!" I consider that to be their equivalent of a food blog. They made something amazing and they want to share it with someone....totally understandable! Plus, I get the benefit of trying something new and then blogging about it to share it with all of YOU. It's a win-win!

My friend, Lindsey, sent me one of those Facebook messages last week about a pizza. But this was not your average pizza, as she explained in the message. It is a sauce-less pizza topped with caramelized onions, fontina cheese and pancetta. She admitted that she was skeptical about the lack of sauce and the odd combination of toppings, but she assured me that it was a wonderful result.
She was right.

Holy. Yum.

The recipe hails from the gods over at Cooking Light....seriously, CL recipe developers: I love you. You never fail me!

The most amazing part of the success of this pizza is that it has very minimal amounts of meat (pancetta) in it and The Hubs STILL LOVED IT! What?!? Who is that man?!

I will warn you that caramelizing onions is a task that must not be rushed, so allow yourself about 30 minutes to complete that part of the recipe. If you rush it, you'll end up with either burnt onions or non-caramelized onions. But once that part is done, it's really just slapping on the toppings and popping it in the oven. (You could even caramelize the onions in advance and have them prepped and ready for the night you're making the pizza!)

Mmmm...caramelization takes time!

Also, if you have trouble finding pancetta in your grocery store (like I did), check your deli meat counter! They had it there at mine, though they had no idea what I was talking about until I pointed to the package of pancetta in their counter and said "That pancetta....that you have right there." ::::eye roll::::

For the crust, this time we decided to go the lazy route and bought a package of fresh wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's.
It was so good!! We usually make our own dough, but honestly lately we've been less than impressed with our dough-making attempts, so this was a nice change!

And please, if you haven't tried Fontina cheese before, do yourself a favor and go get some NOW! It is so good!
Infinitely better than plain old mozzarella and well worth the slight increase in price!

Fontina, Caramelized Onion & Pancetta Pizza
Source: Cooking Light (my adjustments in red)

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pizzas--we just made one 12-inch pizza (serving size: 2 slices)

Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
8 cups sliced onion (about 3 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme --I used 1 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
Thyme sprigs (optional) --I used fresh basil
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Prepare the Pizza Dough according to directions and roll out.

While dough is rising the second time, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions, thyme, salt, and white pepper; cook 25 minutes or until onions are browned, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Brush each prepared pizza crust with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; top each with half of onion mixture. Sprinkle cheese and fresh basil over each pizza. Bake at 475° for 9 minutes or until crusts are crisp. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

CALORIES 238 (28% from fat); FAT 7.3g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.7g); IRON 2mg; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 87mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.8g; SODIUM 300mg; PROTEIN 8.6g; FIBER 3.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1998


  1. Wow, yummy! Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to try and make it.

  2. Wow this looks amazing. Love the toppings.


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