Grilled Pizzetta with Shaved Asparagus, Fontina and Prosciutto


2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (One 1/4oz packet)
1/4 cup warm water (110º to 115ºF warm to the touch like bathwater, but not hot)
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Pizzetta Dough:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
3/4 cup (110º to 115ºF warm to the touch like bathwater, but not hot)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Pizzetta Toppings:
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
5 ounces Fontina cheese, coarsely grated
5 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated
1/2 pound untrimmed asparagus, (about 8 medium asparagus)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 oz prosciutto di Parma, sliced paper-thin
Zest from 1-2 lemons
Crushed red chili flakes if desired


Preheat oven to 550ºF.

Proof the Yeast:Make Sponge: In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/4 cup warm water and 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl. Let it stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Make Dough: After the sponge has sat for at least 30 minutes, transfer the sponge to a large mixing bowl or food processor. Add the remaining flour, warm water, olive oil and salt. Mix the dough thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic and a bit tacky to the touch, (If using and food processor or standing mixer, mix dough for about 3- 5 minutes or until it holds a ball and is smooth.) Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75ºF) until it doubles in volume, about 20-30 minutes.

Roll Dough: Once the dough has doubled, flour the work surface, remove the dough from the bowl and cut in half. Do not work the dough, just cut, flour the top and roll it into an oblong shape, otherwise it will be overworked. The dough must fit onto the grill pan. For a point of reference, both pieces of rolled dough should fit side by side on to a sheet pan, maybe hang off just a tad. The dough will be very pliable and easy to move around.

Grill Dough: Place a grill pan onto the cook top and heat over a medium flame. Lightly brush pan with some olive oil. When the grill is hot, gently pick up the dough and place the dough directly on to the pan. Adjust dough as needed to fit the pan. Grill the dough on one side for 1-2 minutes or until it starts to bubble and grill marks appear. Flip the dough with tongs and grill the other side for another minute. Place crusts onto a parchment lined sheet pan(s). Once a few crusts have been grilled, start topping them. Continue grilling the rest all of the dough.

Infuse Olive Oil: Combine the garlic and olive oil and let stand for 30 minutes.

Prepare Toppings: Coarsely grate the cheeses and place into a bowl. Mix until combined. Using the tough end of the asparagus as a handle, hold the asparagus at an angle and carefully shave them paper thin on a mandolin. The tip will shave a couple times then fall off and that is fine, continue to shave. Stop shaving when the asparagus has about 2 inches left on the end. That part is tough and we are using it to guard fingertips while using the mandolin. Rip or cut the prosciutto into bite sized pieces and set everything aside.

Finish Pizzettas: Brush the grilled crusts with garlic olive oil. Spread half of the cheese, asparagus, salt and pepper on to each crust. Place the pan into the hot oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan(s) from the oven, sprinkle half of the prosciutto on top of each pizzetta (omit for vegetarians). Zest the lemon right over the pizzetas and sprinkle with some chili flakes if desired. Transfer pizzettas to a cutting board. Cut each one in half lengthwise and then each half into 6 to 8 two inch pieces. Serve immediately.

Additional Tips

Note: If cooking on an outdoor grill, heat up the grill on medium then turn the grill down to low.  Brush the grill with olive oil.  Also brush the top of the pizza dough with oil.  Turn the dough over onto a pizza peel dusted generously with polenta or semolina and then slide onto the grill.  Brush the top side of the pizza lightly with oil and add toppings.  Close the grill cover. After a few minutes or when the bottom has started to firm up and crisp, turn off the grill (or move the pizza to a part of the grill that is off), close the cover and let the pizza cook in the ambient heat until the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook®


Makes 2 16x4 inch Pizzettas, yielding about 24-30 pieces