Yield: one 12-inch pizza
Speck is smoked prosciutto, so you can absolutely substitute prosciutto for a slightly different flavor. I highly recommend any La Quercia pork product as the extremely high quality, consistent and authentic and, as a plus, it’s made in Iowa! This is the quickest pizza to put together if you have some dough and sauce waiting in the fridge for you. You just throw a few things on top of your pizza and it requires almost no chopping…you can even just tear your mozzarella apart if you’re too busy to even cut your cheese. And like all Neapolitan pizzas, don’t put too many toppings on. And drumroll please…my new pizza topping catchphrase: If your pizza’s legit, you must know when to quit!
1 ball Neapolitan-style pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
1/4 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces high-quality fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ounce speck or prosciutto (about 4 to 5 slices)
1 ounce baby arugula
1 lemon, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Preheat your oven to its highest heat setting (usually 500 to 550°). Place a baking stone or steel in the middle of your oven and let preheat for at least 1 hour.
Lightly flour your work surface and hands. Gently pat down the ball of dough into a circle, rotating as you work. Using the tips of your fingers, gently push down around the edge of the round, rotating as you go, to create the edge. You can use the heel of your palm to gently stretch the dough out into a circle also. Pick up the dough and lightly pass it back and forth between your palms, trying to rotate as you go to form the round. When you have a round of dough approximately 12 to 13 inches in diameter, transfer to a large piece of parchment or a pizza peel. Optionally, you can sprinkle a little semolina flour on your parchment or peel to provide a little crunch to the bottom and ensure your pizza releases. When your baking apparatus has preheated for at least 1 hour, prepare to bake your pizza.
Spread the pizza sauce on top of the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the mozzarella on top. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough is lightly golden and browned in spots, and the cheese is melted. Top the pizza with the speck and return to the oven for 1 minute more. Remove from the oven and top with the arugula. Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over top and drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Serve the remaining 1/2 lemon on the side, if desired.