Monday, February 21, 2011

Pizza - Salami with Fennel and Asiago cheese

If it's Monday, it must be another day to post for the Pizza 2011 Project!  52 different pizzas is 52 weeks, and here is week 8...

I bought a beautiful flavored imported salami for this one.  Nice and salty, meaty and with a tang that is very appealing.  I decided to combine this with a bit of that wonderful Mediterranean vegetable, the fennel bulb.  A little like an onion, with a hint of anise in the taste paired perfect with the salami.  Finally, I topped this with an aged Asiago cheese.  Much like a good Parmesan cheese, Asiago is one of those cheese that does not melt smooth.  It crisps up as it cooks, forming a salty tasting crunchy topping to the pizza that melded very well with the fennel and salami.  the cheese also adds a beautiful web like look to the top...

I decided that these specialty ingredients needed a gussied up sauce.  Shitake mushrooms add a sweet natural earthy taste to the sauce.  All in all, A specialty pizza worthy of one of those fancy California style pizzerias...

Here's what I did...

For the crust, I used  My "go-to" pizza dough recipe

For the "gussied up" sauce...

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
4 shitake mushroom buttons, cut into thin slivers
1/4 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Pecorina Romano cheese (melts great on liquid)

Combine everything in a sauce pan and simmer for 30 minutes.  Then take your handy hand mixer and blend to a thick paste.

Cut the salami into slices about 1/2 inch thick, then cut these into quarters

Cut the fennel bulb into thin slices, separate the rings

Grate the asiagio cheese

And we are ready to assemble the pizza...

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

  • Preheat oven and pizza stone (or heavy baking sheet) to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll your crust out on parchment paper to your likeness... Thin, Chewy or thick like a bread.
  • Brush Olive oil around the edges to get a beautiful Golden Brown and Delicious looking crust.
  • Salt and pepper the crust at this time
  • layer the "Gussied up" sauce
  • Layer the fennel rings
  • Top with Salami..
  • Add the grated Asiago Cheese
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese starts to get that baked color.

Pizza night... My favorite night of the week!



  1. Your pizza rocks. Love the addition of a high quality salami.
    I know that would enjoy the flavors in this pizza.


  2. That is one awesome looking pizza Dave.

  3. I may have to give fennel another chance - its been a while since I tried it!

    And you know what I've discovered Dave? When I make my batch of pizza dough, I put the leftover dough in the fridge. I actually like the dough better after it "sits" for a few days - its much more flavorful :D

  4. I think pizza day is my favorite day on your blog. That salty salami must have paired so beautifully with the almost sweet buttery fennel!

  5. I agree with Joanne, Pizza Day is my favorite day on your blog too. I'm a little wary of fennel to be honest with you, but the sauce is enormously appealing. I may modify and make it for my unofficial Pizza Fridays with boyfriend and Bill Maher!

  6. I like hearing your thought processes going through the cook like that. Deciding how to pair ingredients is creative and strategic, letting you put your stamp on the recipe. Nice one.

  7. I made this tonight. Just added a little mozzarella to the asiago, but other than that, followed your recipe. It was delicious! MG ate FOUR PIECES!! I was worried the fennel might overpower it but I was completely wrong. Excellent recipe. Really really great!! Thanks for sharing! - Gary

  8. Thank you for visiting Cook Lisa Cook and chocolate covered bacon is definitely in my future. I love the idea of a pizza a week and I'd love for you to check out some of our favorite grilled Blacksmith Pizzas.

    I'm off to explore more of your site.

    Cook Lisa Cook