Buffalo mozzarella soaked in oil with roasted garlic and thyme makes a wonderful pizza when simply accompanied with fennel, bacon or pancetta, olives and lemon. Steer away from strong tomato paste and oregano flavours as fresh buffalo mozzarella’s delicate, flavour and creamy texture.
- 1 large pre-cooked plain pizza base
- 200 gram bottle marinated buffalo cheese
- 1 good-sized fennel bulb
- 3-4 rashers of streaky bacon or 5-6 rashers pancetta
- 1/2 lemon very finely shaved into slices
- 3/4 cup green olives
- Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan, pecorino or manchengo cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C fan bake. Place the pizza base on a baking paper-lined tray. Drain the cheese from the oil, reserving the oil. Dip a pastry brush into the reserved oil and brush liberally on top of the pizza base.
- Trim the green stems, including the fronds from the fennel bulb and set aside. Finely shred the fennel bulb and finely slice the bacon or pancetta rashers. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved oil into a hot frying pan and pan fry over a moderate heat until the bacon and pancetta has cooked and the fennel has just wilted. Set aside.
- Into the pan, which will have oil left in it, sprinkle a little lemon pepper and add the lemon slices and the olives and pan for about one minute . The lemon slices will soak up the flavourings and oil and the olives will brown and blister a little. Remove from the heat.
- Take the mozzarella cheese pieces and squash them on top of the pizza. You can use your hands to do this or the back of a spoon. Scatter over the fennel, bacon or pancetta, lemon, olives and lastly the grated cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the pizza base is beginning to brown and the filling is hot and some of the cheese has begun to brown in places.
- Chop the reserved fennel green stems and fronds and scatter over the pizza. Season with a little of the reserved oil and if wished salt and ground white pepper.