Pumpkin & Smoked Ham Pizza
Sage, Pumpkin Seeds & Mozzarella
There is no way around it. If you want a true Naples, Italy-style pizza you need to have a wood burning oven. If you have a wood oven, this is an essential recipe for making an excellent deep flavored pizza crust. If you don't have a wood oven see the Chef's Note below for techniques using a pizza stone in your home oven. This pizza dough should be made a day ahead so that the flavors develop into more complex tasting dough. Take note that the dough will be very wet at first. The 3 hours "bulk fermentation" process will tighten the dough into a more familiar texture.
Makes two (10-inch) Pizzas / Prep Time:
- Place a pizza stone on the second lowest oven rack and preheat the oven to 500°F for at least 30 minutes.
- Whisk the pumpkin puree and roasted garlic together to blend.
- Generously flour a pizza peel (or lay a sheet of parchment paper on a rimless sheet pan). Place a dough ball on the peel, then lightly flour the top, and flatten, spin, and stretch the dough. Spread half of the pumpkin puree over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered around the edge. Sprinkle half of the ham, half of the mozzarella, and half of the sage over the puree.
- Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pizza 180 degrees and turn on the oven broiler. Continue to bake the pizza until the crust is crisp and golden brown and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately brush the crust with oil. Sprinkle half of the pumpkin seeds over the pizza and serve immediately.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and ingredients.
In recent years there has been resurgence in heirloom variety pumpkins with names like Cinderella, Fairytale, and Red Kuri. Many of these pumpkins are rich in flavor and color. If you have trouble finding heirloom pumpkins, butternut squash makes a wonderful substitution.
To make pumpkin purée, cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the cut side down onto a cookie tray. Bake at 300°F for 2 hours or until tender. Scoop out the flesh and purée in a food processor. Freeze any extra purée for later use in pumpkin pies.