Yum. And also, YUM. While I do like asparagus and ricotta together (I have a good recipe for penne with asparagus and ricotta that for some reason I’ve never posted), it would not have occurred to me to add salami to the mix, or even to add salami to a pizza at all—even though I love salami, and it’s hardly different from that most ubiquitous of all pizza toppings, pepperoni. (While I was making this pizza, A told me that when he traveled to Germany in high school, he was dismayed to discover that ordering a pepperoni pizza got you a pizza covered in pepperoncini, and when he finally spotted a pizza that looked like it had American-style pepperoni, it was in fact salami. So there you go.) Anyway, I’m so glad I gave this recipe from Eggs on Sunday a try, because it’s more than just a way to use up the leftover ricotta in the container while taking advantage of asparagus season. I was a bit worried it would be bland, but instead it was just delicately, elegantly, awesome. Salami—salty, peppery, and prettily pink—is the perfect complement, both visually and...er...flavorfully?, to the milky cheese and sweet, grassy asparagus.
I just eyeballed all the quantities and I think I used more asparagus (and maybe more salami and mozzarella; maybe my pizza was larger, or maybe I just like it topping-heavy?) and less ricotta than the original recipe, but I was really happy with the results. Because my ricotta supply was meager, I ended up spreading it thinly and evenly over the dough instead of dolloping it, and because it seemed easier I grated my mozzarella instead of tearing it, both of which made for a nice, moist, creamy layer underlying the asparagus and salami.
Pizza dough for 1 pizza (about 1 pound)
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces, steamed briefly and then rinsed in cold water
¼ cup salami, sliced into thin ribbons
½ to ¾ cup ricotta cheese
A good handful of fresh mozzarella cheese, grated or torn into pieces (I used maybe ¼ pound?)
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Stretch out your pizza dough and lay it out on a pizza peel or baking sheet that’s been generously dusted with cornmeal.
2. Scatter bits of the ricotta all over the crust (or spread it evenly, if you are a neatnik). Sprinkle with the pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese, then with the pieces of steamed asparagus and ribbons of salami.
3. Bake the pizza for about 8 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good