Fall

Cacio e Pepe Pizza with Roasted Radishes

May 22, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Basically, two ideas collided in my mind, a thin crust cacio e pepe pizza, and roasted radishes on pizza. Ta da! It's kind of wonderful, if I do say so myself. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: fiveandspice is a Boston-based food studies doctoral student with a host of hobbies.
WHAT: A thin-crusted pizza with serious kick from freshly ground pepper, Grana Padano, and roasted radishes.
HOW: The slow-risen dough couldn't be easier, and assembling the pizza is a matter of piling on a few toppings.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The textural contrast of salty cheese, tender radishes, and crusty bread make this pizza irresistible. As fiveandspice says, it's the perfect accompaniment to a "big old arugula salad." —The Editors

  • Makes 2 pizzas
Ingredients
  • Pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 105F)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 3/4 cups (or so) all purpose flour
  • The pizza
  • 2 bunches of radishes
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups grated Grana Padano
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper
  • risen pizza dough (from above)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Pizza dough
  2. In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast and allow to stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and salt and enough flour to make a sticky dough (a bit over 3 cups). Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. (This can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook, but I find it really satisfying to knead pizza dough by hand.)
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and put into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight. (You can also just let it rise at room temp. for 2 hours, but the flavor is infinitely improved by a slow rise in the fridge)
  1. The pizza
  2. Preheat your oven to 425F. Remove the tops and tips and slice the radishes into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Toss them with a bit of olive oil and salt in a baking pan. Put them into the oven and roast until they’re soft and starting to get a little golden in spots, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Put a pizza stone in the oven and turn the heat up to 475F and allow to preheat for at least 30 minutes, while you shred the cheese and get the pizzas ready. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, just turn the heat up and bake the pizzas on baking sheets.)
  4. Divide the dough in half. On a well floured surface, roll one dough half out into a circle that’s only about 1/8 inch thick. You can do this with your hands if you’re skilled like that, but I used a rolling pin. Transfer to a pizza peel (or baking sheet) that is generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush all over with olive oil. Top with half of each type of cheese and radish slices to your liking. Sprinkle half the pepper over the top.
  5. Transfer into the oven onto the baking stone. Bake until the crust is golden and lightly blistered and the cheese is completely melted, about 9-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and put on a cutting board.
  6. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining toppings.
  7. Slice and serve warm with a big old arugula salad.

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Review
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.