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Perfect match: salsicce pizza with barbera

Australian Gourmet Traveller wine match recipe for chicory, chilli and salsicce pizza with barbera.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus proving
Chicory, chilli and salsicce pizza
Chicory, chilli and salsicce pizza

Nebbiolo is the grape that attracts all the oohs and aahs when anybody starts talking about red wines from Piedmont in north-west Italy. But barbera is the grape that produces some of the region's most gluggable, yet satisfying, wines: it has more flesh on its bones than furry, tannic old nebbiolo, and it has more grip and grunt than that other, lighter-flavoured, juicy Piedmontese red grape, dolcetto, making it the perfect partner for an everyday dish like pizza with chicory and salsicce (sausage). One of the qualities that makes barbera such a delicious food wine is its acidity: there's a mouth-watering freshness to it, as well as all that plum flavour and tongue-hugging tannin, that tingles the tastebuds and helps cut through the silky, salty fat of the salsicce. This juicy acidity is also proving to be a boon for barbera grown in Australian vineyards: the high acid helps the grapes retain their lively flavours late into the growing season, even during those hot, dry vintages we've experienced recently. Barbera clearly has lots of potential here as a top-quality alternative grape.

This Piedmont wine’s terrific acidity makes it a perfect match for many kinds of food, especially salty salsicce.

Ingredients

  • 7 gm (about 1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 250 gm “00” flour
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 200 gm chicory (about 1 bunch), washed and trimmed (see note)
  • 80 gm (about 6 slices) thinly sliced provolone dolce
  • 2 tbsp oregano leaves
  • For dusting: semolina flour
  • 2 Italian pork sausages, thickly sliced diagonally

Method

Main
  • 1
    Combine yeast and 150ml lukewarm water in a bowl, stir to dissolve and stand until foamy (3-5 minutes). Combine flour and a pinch of sea salt in a large bowl, form a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture and half the olive oil, incorporate flour from sides of well with a fork until a paste forms. Mix in remaining flour with your hands to form a dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until silky and smooth (5-7 minutes). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and stand until doubled in size (40 minutes-1 hour).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220C. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add remaining olive oil, onion, garlic and chilli and stir occasionally until onion is soft and translucent (5-7 minutes). Add chicory and stir until just wilted (2-3 minutes), season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, knock back and divide in two. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disc and roll to 5mm thick. Place on two semolina flour-dusted oven trays, top each with chicory mixture, sausage and provolone. Bake (swapping trays halfway) until golden and crisp (5-7 minutes), scatter with oregano leaves and serve immediately.

Notes

Note Chicory is a bitter green leaf, stocked by select grocers. If unavailable, substitute radicchio. Drink suggestion by Max Allen