Tuesday, February 24, 2009

pizza & eggs

A long while back, I did a post on a poached egg dish. Two years later I find myself writing about eggs again, this time soft-baked eggs on top of a pizza - Italian style. There is something so appealing about an egg that hasn't been tampered with, hasn't been fried in grease or scrambled about.

I had always wanted to try an Italian pizza with one egg baked onto each quarter, ever since learning about the style from Delfina restaurant in San Francisco. Finally, when I saw an episode of Food Network recently where Ellie put together a simple and healthy, yet oh so satisfying pizza, did I decide to give it a try.

The pizza consists of a whole wheat pizza crust, layered with chopped fresh baby spinach, mushrooms, strips of pancetta, freshly grated parmesan cheese, 4 eggs (one on each corner) and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.

The trick is to cook the pizza long enough for the whites of the eggs to set, and the yellow left runny. Overcooking the eggs will result in a hard yolk resting on top of your pizza, not very appetizing unless you enjoy chalky textures.

The best part of this dish is breaking into the soft yellow yolk and smearing it all over the pizza with your fork... yum, hedonistic.

The pancetta also crisps up nicely and lends some needed saltiness to the dish.

Next time, I'll try this pizza with calabrese sausage instead of pancetta to change things up, and maybe do an arugula base instead of spinach to add some nuttiness.