For National Potato Month, September, go beyond the Big Three (baked, fries, mashed) and try something new. We’re fond of a white pizza of smoked salmon and sliced potatoes, garnished with salmon caviar. But today, we’re making a sweet potato pizza. It’s an Old World-New World fusion food: pizza from Italy, potatoes from the Americas.
The lively meld of flavors include sweet potato, caramelized onions, sopressata, mascarpone cheese, provolone, fresh sage and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Sopressata (also spelled soppressata, sopresseta, soprasata and sopresatta) is a dry Italian salami made from coarsely ground pork sausage seasoned with garlic, savory spices and whole black peppercorns.
If you can’t find it, substitute prosciutto di Parma or any dry Italian salami.
> The history of pizza
If you have ready-to-use pizza dough, skip Step 1.
1. COMBINE the flour mix and yeast packet in a large mixing bowl with 1-1/4 cups of lukewarm water. Stir with a fork until the dough begins to form. Knead by hand for 3 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (After this step, you can refrigerate for use within 1-3 days.)
2. PREHEAT the oven to 500°F. Wash the potatoes and poke holes using a fork. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 1 hour. Meanwhile…
3. HEAT a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, melt the butter; then turn down the heat to low. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter. Spread the onions evenly in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle them with salt. Cook for 30 more minutes, or until caramelized. (Editor’s note: Ours were done in 10 minutes.)
4. REMOVE the sweet potatoes from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and discard or repurpose the skins*. Pulse in a food processor with the salt. Add the olive oil and purée until smooth.
5. REDUCE the oven temperature to 450°F. Cut the pizza dough in half. Roll out the dough into a circle on a floured surface. Evenly spread the puréed potato mixture onto the dough. Sprinkle with the provolone. Top with the onions, dollops of mascarpone and the sliced sopressata.
6. BAKE for 10-12 minutes, or until the provolone melts and the crust becomes golden brown. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before cutting.
7. DRIZZLE with the balsamic glaze, sprinkled with sage and serve.
*The skins are where the fiber is. You can slice them and crisp them in a hot pan or add them to scrambled eggs and omelets.