Carbonara flatbread pizza
Italy’s answer to bacon and eggs, with prosciutto, mozzarella and Parmesan, as a pizza. Are you in?
I noticed that my homemade take on a pizza classic, Princess Margherita’s pizza, has been very popular, so it prompted me to publish another one of my somewhat more, uh, decadent ideas. It’s not the kind of thing you’d want to eat all the time but, mercy, it’s a helluva cheesy, bacony treat. Telling you about it also gives me a chance to Trojan horse in a life-changing way to make a white sauce … we’ll get to that in a second.
Taking its cues from pasta carbonara, this is a distinctly Italian spin on a bacon and egg pizza. I use paper-thin prosciutto as my salumi of choice – you could also use thinly sliced pancetta – and cheese it up with both Parmesan and mozzarella. Because I’m never going to make pizza dough from scratch at home, I use a Turkish bread, pide, or a thin Lebanese flatbread as the base. Naan also works very well, too.
Over this, a smear of cheesy white sauce. Now, you must abandon everything you know about making a white sauce the classic French way: this is your new roux. Instead of melting butter and cooking in the flour then whisking in milk bit by bit, you start with everything in a cold pan, switch the heat on under it and whisk lazily for a couple of minutes. It’s faster, easier and always comes out perfectly smooth. You’re welcome.
Carbonara flatbread pizza
1 Turkish (or Lebanese) bread, about 30 cm (12 inches) wide, or naan
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
125ml (½ cup) milk
40g (½ cup) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
150g (6 oz) mozzarella
100g (4 oz) prosciutto
To make the cheese sauce, put the flour, butter and milk in a small saucepan. Switch on medium heat. When the butter melts, whisk until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Cook, still whisking, for 2 minutes and stir in the half the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Set your oven to 220°C (425°F).
If you're using a Turkish bread, cut the top crust off using a long serrated knife. (If you're using a Lebanese bread or naan, there's nothing to do.) Place on a baking sheet.
Spoon over the cheese sauce, spreading it to the edges. Scatter over about two-thirds of the mozzarella and lay the slices of prosciutto on top. Dot with the remaining mozzarella, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.
Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, break the egg on top and return to the oven for 4 minutes, until the egg white has set.
Slice and serve immediately.