Asparagus and goat cheese are inventive toppings for pizza. For a real treat, use well-drained buffalo milk mozzarella. Round out the meal with a lemon-dressed romaine and cucumber salad for a simple, satisfying weeknight meal.
Pizza with Pancetta, Asparagus & Goat Cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 oz. (60 g.) pancetta, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 bunch (about 1/2 lb./250 g.) slender asparagus, ends trimmed
1 lb. (500 g.) pizza dough
6 oz. (185 g.) whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 green onions, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
1/4 lb. (125 g.) soft, fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the pancetta and pepper flakes. Saute until the pancetta browns, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cut each asparagus spear into 3 pieces, and then cut the thick ends in half lengthwise. Place the asparagus in a small bowl; add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat.
Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11- to 12-inch (28- to 30-cm.) oval or round. Sprinkle a rimless baking sheet with cornmeal; transfer the pizza dough to the pan. Brush the dough with the pancetta-cooking oil, and sprinkle with the pancetta mixture. Spread the mozzarella cheese over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm.) plain edge. Sprinkle the green onions and then the goat cheese over the mozzarella. Arrange the asparagus over the pizza. Grate some Parmesan cheese over the asparagus, then season with salt and pepper.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake until the asparagus is tender and the edges of the crust are brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into small pieces or wedges and serve. Serves 4.
Find more simple, seasonal weeknight recipes in our cookbook Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd.