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Pizza covered in arugula cheese and tomato

Razza Chef Dan Richer's Panna Pizza

Riffing on the classic Margherita, chef Dan Richer of Razza Pizza Artigianale, and Rome-based food journalist Katie Parla created this “Panna Pizza” for their new book, The Joy of Pizza. Panna means “cream” in Italian and it’s the panna that makes all the difference here. Instead of a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, this pie gets a healthy dose of cream before it goes into the oven, which results in what Dan and Katie call a “a kind of swirly pink, penne alla vodka thing,” which is exactly the type of delicious alchemy we love to stumble across. After cooking, the lush cream gets balanced with the bite of peppery arugula and some salty, nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano. 

This pie is delicious due to the expertly balanced flavors, but also because it adheres to one of the hallmarks of Richer’s pizza-making philosophy: using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Contrary to popular opinion, Richer doesn’t believe that imported Italian ingredients are always best for pizza. In fact, part of what makes his panna pizza so good is the incredibly rich cow’s cream he sources from a Pennsylvania dairy not far from his shop in Jersey City.

What will make your panna pie great isn’t necessarily sourcing that exact same cream from Pennsylvania, but rather by doing what Dan advises and using “the best quality cream you can find.” If you subscribe to his pizza philosophy, a search for the best dairy in your area might mean you leave your supermarket aisles altogether. Dan has found this kind of back-to-the-basics search “may lead you to a fabulous local dairy,” and we’re all for that.  

Use the recipe below to make this deliciously creamy pizza at home. 

Excerpted from THE JOY OF PIZZA by Dan Richer with Katie Parla. Copyright © 2021 by Dan Richer. Photographs by Eric Wolfinger. Illustrations by Katie Shelly. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

10 minutes active time, 30 minutes total time (excluding dough preparation)

One 12-inch (30cm) pizza

Ooni Pizza Oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel or Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade 
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper

250 gram pizza dough ball 
56 grams tomato sauce *Dan’s tomato sauce calls for one 800 gram can of whole peeled tomatoes passed through a food mill and seasoned with fine sea salt, but you can use the tomato sauce of your choice.

60 to 70 grams fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into 3cm pieces
5 grams heavy cream (highest quality you can find)
Coarse sea salt
50 grams arugula, aka rocket 
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but obviously, Dan’s Everyday Dough is the natural best fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before heating your oven.

Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 500°C on the stone baking board inside. Use the thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature before launching. 

On a lightly floured surface, stretch out your dough to 12 inches (30cm), then transfer to a lightly floured peel. Spoon the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza dough all the way to the edge of the raised border, then distribute the mozzarella evenly. Drizzle the heavy cream in a spiral over the top and season with salt.

Slide the pizza off the peel and into your oven. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning the pizza at intervals to ensure an even cook. 

Remove the cooked pizza and distribute the arugula evenly over the top, then finish with freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

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