Not at all Pizza e Fichi

"Qui non stiamo a pettinare le bambole" (we are not brushing the dolls) or "Mica pizza e fichi!" (not at all pizza with figs) both sound like highly improbable euphemisms yet, believe it or not, they are very common in the Italian daily language. This last one is a sentence, typical from the Roman slang, especially used when one wants to give importance to something they're talking about, using as a negative and "lower" yardstick the pizza with figs (for example: this is a Picasso painting, "mica pizza e fichi"!). Not that pizza and figs should have some kind of importance within the Two Chief World Systems, but I would say that it is placed on a par with other dishes representing  the backbone in the Italian gastronomical patrimony, such as Risotto ai Funghi, Pasta alla Norma (which I previously shared with you here) and the Sicilian Cassata. At a time where the "cibo povero" (food for the poor) would determine a social status linked with the agricultural background, back until about 30 years ago it was thought as very unbecoming in a big city to consume such simple food. Nowadays all gastronomic codes have been turned around, there's a whole new wave- not a trend but a consciusness raising - resulting in the appreciation of artisanal tradition hence this is a dish hold in high regard, a real delicatessen, even. This is due to its 2 main ingredients: prosciutto and figs. Whereas the latter are to be found over the months of september and october only, the finest ham, with its unscrupulous and only slightly salted taste, is a real chimera for all those who seek #foodhappiness. I will soon visit San Daniele, home of the highly esteemed prosciutto, to tell you a little of this incredible product. For my part I say that this pizza must be tried, it seems like an excellent solution for a snack, a main course on a lazy sunday evening, or a crunchy aperitivo. It's up to your tastebuds. The recipe is really easy, too!

PIZZA E FICHI

Serves 6 people as a starter/main course/snack

  • 350 gr. flour type 0 + some for the working surface
  • 20 gr. of fresh yeast
  • 300 gr. of thinly sliced Parma ham
  • 12 fresh figs in season
  • 50 gr. extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of fine sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in half a glass of lukewarm water (70 ml.) while, in another half a glass of warm water, you will dissolve the salt and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the middle, pour in the water with the yeast and start kneading, adding little by little the water with salt and oil.

Let the dough rest in the bowl for 15 minutes, then take it back and knead on a floured board by by means of folding it over and over. Repeat the operation for a few times, remembering to sprinkle the work surface with a little flour. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rest in the lower part of the refrigerator (where you put the vegetables) for 24 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and at this point let it rise at room temperature. As the dough becomes swollen (after 2 hours), now pre-heat the oven at 200° before placing the dough on a work surface dusted with flour and roll it out with the tip of your fingers. Place it in an oiled baking pan and place in the bottom of a preheated oven at 200° for 10 minutes. After this time, move the pan to the middle of the oven and cook for 15 further minutes.

Let the pizza cool, cut it into 6 pieces and garnish with prosciutto and figs, cut into wedges.

With love and pizza,

Eleonora