Imitation and Flattery

Over the holidays we tried out at a new restaurant in St. Paul.  The happy hour and take out at Scusi are popular, and finding a seat is impossible.  But the wait is worth it.  We ordered two pizzas and a pasta, and I've been thinking about that veal meatball pizza ever since.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I sincerely love this pizza.  My version includes a whole wheat crust and the addition of olives, but it holds up pretty well against my memories.

Meatball Pizza
Serves 6

Pizza dough for one crust

1/2 pound ground beef or veal
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup bread crumbs, fine
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated fine
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest from a lemon

1/4 cup red onion, slivered
2 cups mozzarella, shredded and divided

2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, smashed

1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives, halved
1/2 - 1 cup Parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread or roll dough out to form crust. Top with 1 cup mozzarella.

Combine meatball ingredients; form tiny balls (1 teaspoon in size). Place balls over cheese. Top with red onions; bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to turn golden.

While crust and meatballs bake, combine tomatoes in small saucepan over medium high heat. As tomatoes break down, add garlic and wine. Reduce liquid to a nice saucy consistency; turn heat to low and add seasonings.

Remove pizza from oven; top with tomato sauce, olives, and remaining cheeses. Bake an additional 15 minutes.


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