I can only imagine the reactions I may be getting just by writing that title. My own husband asked me what was for dinner and when I replied with fig, pancetta and gorgonzola cheese pizza there was just silence on the other end of the phone. I had to assure him that I was making a back up pizza just in case this one didn't come out as planned. I told him to just give it the benefit of the doubt.
The good sport that he is, of course tried the pizza and actually enjoyed it. The funny thing about this pizza is he doesn't really like gorgonzola cheese and I'm not a fan of figs. It's a bit of a head scratcher I know, why make a pizza where each of us individually doesn't like a third of the ingredients, a pizza where combined we disliked two thirds of the toppings? Because my friends it's a challenge and in the fashion of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother...I say "Challenge Accepted!"
And you know what? It was a success. Somehow the flavors just melded together and worked awesomely to make a unique and delicious flavor combination. The only thing I would change is instead of using diced pancetta next time I would buy slices of it from the deli counter and use that instead to give the pancetta a little more "presence" on the pizza.
Trust me. Try this. You'll love it.
- Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
- 4 oz pancetta (diced or sliced)
- 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1 pint black figs
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare a pizza shell. To do this grease whatever pan you plan to make your pizza in and place the dough inside. Use your fingertips to flatten and stretch out the dough so it is covering your entire pan. Once you have done this sprinkle a little cheese on top and pop the dough in the oven.
The goal here is to cook the dough slightly so it wont shrink on you later when you add the toppings on. This will also allow you to have a fully cooked dough without overcooking or drying out your toppings. Keep a close on the dough while your are cooking the shell, if it starts to shrink you can take it out and stretch. The shell is done when it no longer looks raw, just very, very under cooked. It should be very light in color, that is exactly what you want.
While the shell is cooking slice the figs and heat them in a frying pan with the balsamic vinegar. I left the heat on low and just them simmer and caramelize a bit.
When the shell is ready spread the fig mixture over the pizza almost as though it were pizza sauce. The figs will have probably broken up and even melted down a bit, this is okay, you don't want firm figs or hard pieces. What you want is essentially a balsamic and fig jam.
Layer the pancetta on top of the fig and then sprinkle the gorgonzola cheese on top. I added a bit extra in some spots because I really love gorgonzola cheese.
Put the pizza back in the oven for approximately 8 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.