Ah, Venice. This “Floating City” is certainly one to marvel at. However, city might be a bit of a misnomer now as I felt more like I was wandering around a huge museum. What I mean by this is that the city no longer seemed to function as an actual city, but more like a self-contained tourist attraction. Each twist and turn of the narrow stone streets were jam-packed with commercialized restaurants and shops.
But despite this, a longstanding and authentic sense of tradition and history could undoubtably be felt through the preservation of many architectural features along with the idiosyncratic quirks that just come with being a “City of Water.” One such quirk was the flooding of St. Mark’s Square during high tide. Lucky for us, we got to experience the charming side of high tide unlike the lady pictured below.
I mentioned before that our Geneva lunch was one of my most memorable meals on the entire trip. However, our first dinner in Venice takes that primo spot. It was the first time we’d tried buffalo mozzarella, arugula, and a sunny side egg atop a pizza, but it wasn’t so much the food that made this meal number one as it was the indescribably heartwarming ambiance packaged with it. From the flooding that comes with high tide to the fruit flavored pastas sold street side, Venice definitely has a charm of its own.
Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza
Makes one 16 inch pizza
For the pizza dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup warm water
Note: Makes a good crust if you’re short on time, but if you have the time I’d try this instead.
For the toppings:
- 12 oz store bought pizza sauce
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella
- 8 oz buffalo mozzarella, drained and sliced
- ~40 turkey pepperonis
- 12 asparagus spears, cut to size
- 1 egg
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus for 1 minute in the boiling water, remove, and shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain and dry well.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix in oil and warm water initially with chopsticks and then knead dough by hand until a smooth ball forms. To stretch out the dough, initially punch the dough out with both fists and then pick up the dough and rotate it around atop fists.
Note: I didn’t have a pizza stone or large enough baking sheet so I just baked my pizza on aluminum foil. However, the result was a rather soft-bottomed pizza; it’d probably be better to split the dough into two pieces and make two smaller pizzas if you don’t have a large enough baking sheet either.
- Place the stretched dough onto a baking sheet and top with tomato sauce, cheeses, pepperonis, and asparagus spears (you’ll probably need to trim the ends to make sure there’s space left in the middle for the egg).
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and crack the egg in the center of the pizza. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the egg white is set.