Celebrate Pizza Month with Chef Gabe Bertaccini & Aperol
Aperol is an Italian aperitif that is perfect to pair with freshly baked pizza. And since October is National Pizza Month, Aperol partnered with Italian chef Gabe Bertaccini to provide the perfect recipe for a pizza and Aperol Spritz to help us celebrate.
Bertaccini’s recipe for pizza verde isn’t actually a pesto pizza as one might be lead to believe. Instead, it gets its name from its topping of green broccolini. Below is Chef Gabe’s recipe, but remember, you can always tweak certain things to make the pizza your own special creation. The most important thing is to be creative and have fun!
1 pizza dough, refrigerated for at least 8 hours(homemade or store-bought)
1 OZ grated asiago cheese
1 OZ mozzarella cheese
6 TBSP. crushed tomato sauce, with some extra olive oil on hand (recipe below)
4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 CUP sautéed broccoli rabe (rapini_ and 1⁄2 CUP of mixed onion (yellow and leek) sliced thinly
Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
Put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 F, allowing at least 30 minutes for the stone to warm (if using a tray, you’ll only need 10 minutes to preheat.)
On a floured surface, roll or stretch the dough out to a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to a floured pizza peel. Spoon the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza, using the back of the spoon to spread the sauce, starting from the center and stopping about 3/4 inch from the edges (with a hand-crushed tomato sauce, the consistency of the sauce over the pizza will be uneven.)
Sprinkle on the mozzarella and asiago cheeses and then dot the pizza with the crushed garlic and a light amount of the sautéed rapini and onion mixture. Then, give it a very light drizzle of good olive oil.
Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and bubbling, or until the crust is crisp and golden brown. Remove the pizza with the peel and immediately add a little of the Parmigiano Reggiano. The heat of the pizza will wilt the leaves slightly and release their heady fragrance.
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
Empty a can of tomatoes, with the juice, into a large bowl. Add olive oil, basil, and salt. Then, using your hands, crush the tomatoes. Let it sit for about an hour for the flavors to combine. Refrigerate extra sauce in an airtight container for a few days or freeze for several months.
Pair your freshly-baked pizza with a delicious Aperol Spritz, which is an extremely easy Italian classic that anyone can make!
Fresh slice of orange
Fill glass with ice and prosecco.
Add an equal amount of Aperol (the 50/50 ratio makes it easy to adjust the serving size).
Add a splash of soda water and a fresh slice of orange (note: the orange goes inside the drink rather than as a garnish on the glass.)
You now have all the ingredients you need to create a delicious feast for National Pizza Month. Gather around with the family, or have zoom call with friends, and enjoy the flavors of Italy, right from your own kitchen.