The ultimate guide to achieving pizza nirvana at home, from the chef who is making what Bon Appetit magazine calls “the best pizza in America.”
Joe Beddia’s pizza is old school – it’s all about the dough, the sauce and the cheese. And after perfecting his pie-making craft at Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, he’s offering his methods and recipes in a cookbook that’s anything but old school. Beginning with D’OH, SAUCE, CHEESE, and BAKING basics, Beddia takes you through the pizza-making process, teaching the foundation for making perfectly crisp, satisfyingly chewy, dangerously addictive pies at home.
The following recipe is extracted from Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia
Asparagus, Spring Cream, Onion, Lemon Pizza
Makes one 14- to 16-inch (35.5- to 40.5-cm) pizza
The first asparagus of the season is always a treat. Make sure you wash it, as it can be a little sandy. You also need to make sure that you get rid of the woodsy, inedible bottoms. The freshest cut stuff that you find at the farmers’ market is always best. I slice the spears into little coins. The thinner the better.
- 1 ball dough: use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria
- ⅔ cup (165 ml) Spring Cream (See note 1)
- 3 ounces (85 g) fresh mozzarella, pinched into small chunks
- 2 cups (220 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella
- About 2 cups (270 g) chopped fresh asparagus
- Fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon wedge
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500°F (260°C) or, if possible, 550°F (287°C). To make the pizza, first follow the instructions on prepping and rolling out the dough included in the Make & Bake section (see below).
Cover the dough with the spring cream, then add the mozzarellas. Now I like to add a very liberal amount of asparagus. Season with salt. Bake as described in Make & Bake (see below).
Finish with the grated hard cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice from the wedge, and the chives.
Note 1: Spring Cream
Makes about 4 cups (960 ml)
This pizza marks the end of winter, when the only in-season ingredients have been mushrooms and potatoes for a few boring months. Winter in Philly is the longest season: It’s cold, there’s no parking, and everyone is angrier than usual. So when spring arrives and you emerge, like Punxsutawney Phil, from drinking in dark bars and see your fat, bloated shadow, this pizza—highlighted by a few fresh herbs plus lemon juice and zest for acid—will make you feel better about the world again.
- 1 handful of basil (10 to 20 leaves)
- ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh fennel fronds
- ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh chives
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
- Fat pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 cups (960 ml) heavy cream
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until slightly emulsified. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Use your favourite dough or pick some up from a local pizzeria.
Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia is out now – order your copy today.