Buffalo mozzarella cheese, bacon and fennel pizza
Photo by Allyson Gofton
Buffalo mozzarella soaked in oil with roasted garlic and thyme makes a wonderful pizza when simply accompanied by fennel, bacon or pancetta, olives and lemon. Steer away from strong tomato paste and oregano flavours to enjoy fresh buffalo mozzarella’s delicate flavour and creamy texture.
- Heat the oven to 200C fan bake. Place the pizza base on a baking paper-lined tray.
- Drain the cheese from the oil, reserving the oil. Dip a pastry brush into the reserved oil and brush liberally on top of the pizza base.
- Trim the green stems, including the fronds, from the fennel bulb and set aside. Finely shred the fennel bulb and finely slice the bacon or pancetta rashers. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved oil into a hot frying pan and pan-fry over a moderate heat until the bacon or pancetta have cooked and the fennel has just wilted. Set aside.
- Into the pan, which will have oil left in it, sprinkle a little lemon pepper and add the lemon slices and the olives and pan-fry for about one minute. The lemon slices will soak up the flavourings and oil and the olives will brown and blister a little. Remove from the heat.
- Take the mozzarella cheese pieces and squash them on top of the pizza. You can use your hands to do this or use the back of a spoon. Scatter over the fennel, bacon or pancetta, lemon, olives and lastly the grated cheese.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the pizza base are beginning to brown, the topping is hot and some of the cheese has begun to brown in specks.
- Chop the reserved green fennel stems and fronds and scatter over the pizza. Season with a little of the reserved oil and, if wished, salt and ground white pepper.
Also try Allyson's moroccan-spiced pumpkin and goat’s cheese pizza.