From Italy to New York to Japan to India, I am amazed to see how creative local chefs are in their pizza making. It’s a lot of fun to taste the wide variety of pizza variations around the world: Japanese mochi pizza crust, Korean BBQ toppings, tandoori chicken toppings, square-shaped thick, moist Sicilian, even that quintessential American thin and crispy New York pizza. Among all the pizza I’ve tasted around the world, my vote for the most creative pizza goes to Denmark. During my year studying in Copenhagen as an exchange student through UC Berkeley, my friend’s aunt, Inge Hansen, frequently invited me to her house for dinner. One weekend, upon entering Inge’s dining room, I found 3 different pizzas waiting for me: cheese-less, pungent Danish cheese pizza, and buttery, creamy Havarti cheese pizza. Inge, who wasn’t sure if I’d eat her favorite stinky pizza, went out of her way to make alternative pizzas from scratch just for me. I was so touched that I almost cried. I also learned that any cheese could be a possible substitute for mozzarella on a pizza. In my unforgettable gratitude to Inge, I experimented making yeast-free, truffled madrigal pizza, as well as emmental pizza with roasted pepper and Italian sausage in my California kitchen. Visually, Italian sausages made the pizza look quite stunning, but the flavor of the truffled madrigal pizza was so pure and extraordinary that I’ve decided to share my recipe.
First, mix 2 ½ cup flour with 2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Then, add 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 small egg and ¾ cup water to the mixture and knead for 3 minutes. Then, roll out the pizza dough as thin as possible and brush the surface with my 7th taste truffle olive oil. Then, grease the baking sheet and bake it at 400F for about 7 minutes. Next, spread the marinara sauce over pizza dough (my simple seafood marinara sauce includes 1 lb fresh tomato, ½ cup dry white wine, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 onion, ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, 1/2 cup shrimp shell stock, a dash of Italian hot pepper and salt & pepper to taste). Then, place ½ lb grated madrigal cheese on top of the marinara sauce. Finally, bake the pizza for about 10 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is melted. Right before serving, drizzle some of my truffle olive oil to bring out the decant truffle aromas and flavors to this insanely good pizza!
Made from whole milk, madrigal cheese is rich and creamy. It has a sweet, nutty taste like chestnut and a semi-soft texture. Madrigal’s sweetness and nuttiness goes very well with the woodsy, buttery flavors of my truffle oil. Also, the acidity of the marinara sauce nicely balances out the richness of the the madrigal cheese. This trio of truffle olive oil, marinara sauce and madrigal cheese is like three tenors singing a beautiful ensemble with a gentle orchestra accompaniment. Sounds heavenly? Next time when you feel like picking up a phone to order pizza delivery, try this recipe instead. It can be there in less than 30 minutes, regardless of traffic or other neighbors ordering pizza, and it tastes amazing! Hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy cooking!