“Bacon Makes Everything Better”. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote from time to time and seen it printed on t-shirts. I am not a huge meat eater in general, but when it comes to crispy bacon fresh out of the skillet, my eyes glaze over with a sort of hysteria and I turn into a kid who can’t keep her hand out of the cookie jar. Whenever I am making a dish that includes bacon, I have to make extra, or else I would eat half of what is supposed to be included in the recipe. David has even had to keep the bacon next to him and has been known to slap my hands away as I try to reach around him for another piece. “Stop eating the bacon!” he says with an exasperated smile. I just can’t help myself. Since bacon makes everything better, I figured why not throw it on something that is already (in my book) the perfect food? How can that be a bad thing? It’s not. This is a very, very good thing. David and I have a brick oven pizza place near us that has a delicious pizza with a white base, Manila clams, crispy pancetta, spicy chiles, parsley and mozzarella. This is kind of a riff on that, sans clams. If you have read my previous pizza posts, you will note that I don’t really include exact measurements, because I don’t measure. I sprinkle on the toppings to my heart’s content, based on what I’m feeling that day.
a few glugs of olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
kosher or sea salt
fresh mozzarella, sliced thin or grated
5-6 pieces double-smoked bacon, fried until almost crisp, and torn into pieces
fresh parsley, chopped
crushed red pepper
Place an oven rack on the lowest level and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
In a small saucepan warm the olive oil over low heat and add the garlic. Let it cook for a bit on low, until the garlic aroma starts to waft around the kitchen.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to a 15” circle (or some such shape). Slide the dough with parchment onto a pizza peel. Brush the entire crust with the garlic olive oil, making sure the garlic bits make it onto the crust. Sprinkle the dough evenly with salt.
Top the dough with mozzarella cheese, cooked bacon, and crushed red pepper. (I didn’t include it this time, but I think sliced red onion would also be good on this pizza.)
Slide the parchment from the peel to the pizza stone in the preheated oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling and starting to turn brown. Remove from oven, slide the parchment paper out, sprinkle with parsley, slice and serve.
We enjoyed this pizza with a bottle of La Quercia Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. Pair it with any medium-bodied red wine of your choosing.