Ages ago I wrote a little essay about our visit to Primo restaurant in Rockland, Maine. Primo was pretty new at the time, as was the farm-to-table restaurant movement, if you can believe that. We loved that place so much. It was a revelation for us at that moment, and I went on to get a lot of satisfaction from watching the rest of the country have a similar revelation in the few years after.
Our meal at Primo began with a perfect prosciutto arugula pizza that I’ve thought about virtually every day since. (BTW that’s all you’ll ever need to know about me — I think about long-lost pizzas every day, and until my late 30s I could start a meal with half a pie.) Of course I wasn’t organized enough in those days of new blogginess and babies everywhere to have shared a recipe for the actual prosciutto arugula pizza in that post. But guess what? Eight years later, I totally am.
Truth be told, this is the kind of meal that’s worth waiting eight years to get your pizza-hands on. At this point I can’t remember exactly how closely my version tracks the original, but time and distance allowed me to create exactly the pizza I wanted. Medium-thin multigrain crust (but use whatever crust style you like). Just enough of a really good tomato sauce and regular old, nothing fancy mozzarella. And then. Thin slices of prosciutto crumpled on top. And a big mess of punchy arugula dressed in good olive oil, fresh lemon juice, flaky sea salt and black pepper. A few shards of good parmesan. Drizzle of balsamic glaze. Bring it.
This pizza feels special but really couldn’t be easier. Which in my mind makes it the perfect dinner party food. Except if you’re young and can still eat the whole thing yourself. In that case, you’re on your own.
Talk to you soon.
Prosciutto Arugula Pizza
I'm a TOTAL spazz with pizza dough. I have all the equipment (stone! peel!). But the only trick that makes the process work for me consistently is to place the stretched dough onto a piece of parchment paper just slightly larger than the pizza and to slide the whole thing from peel to stone. Don't use too much extra parchment or it could scorch, but this discovery has saved me countless heartache, and I highly recommend it.
- 22 ounces pizza dough (see note 1)
- 1 cup good tomato sauce (see note 2)
- 8 ounces regular mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 5 ounces arugula
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (see note 3)
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Balsamic glaze (see note 4)
Place a pizza stone (or, in a pinch, an upside-down baking sheet) on a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.
Divide the pizza dough into two portions and stretch each into a 12-inch round. If you like, place each on a sheet of parchment just slightly larger than the dough. Top each dough round with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and spread well. Sprinkle each with half the mozzarella. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned and bubbly. (I bake one at a time -- the first right before we're ready to eat and the second while we eat the first.)
Meanwhile, toss the arugula with the olive oil, lemon juice, flaky salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
When each pizza is done, tear the prosciutto slices in half and arrange on top of pizza. Heap arugula salad in the center, then shower with curls of Parmigiano cheese. Top with more black pepper if you like, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Cut into slices and serve immediately.
- I like to use a good multigrain crust for this pizza, but it would be great with regular, whole-wheat, or your favorite gluten-free dough as well. I've specified 22 ounces because that's the weight of the multigrain dough ball I buy at Whole Foods, but don't stress over the exact weight.
- I use this recipe or the only jarred sauce I ever use, Brooklyn Marinara.
- I use Maldon salt, which is widely available. Don't replace this with regular salt or it will be way too salty.
- Balsamic glaze should be pretty easy to find, but you an substitute regular balsamic vinegar that you've simmered until it becomes thick and syrupy.