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When in Rome, do as the taste buds would - JSOnline

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Sandy D'Amato | The Kitchen Technician When in Rome, do as the taste buds would
Posted: Nov. 28, 2008 We fly into Rome, change a large handful of dollars for a slightly smaller handful of Euros, and strap ourselves tightly into a cab for a roller coaster-like ride to the hotel through a city that seems to have no logical traffic rules, but with every driver on the same chaotic page. It's eight in the morning and we can't check in until one. We drop off our luggage and say hello to Rome. The big decision - where to go first: the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican? A normal person's head would be spinning. But this is no normal head. This is a head carefully molded and filled to the brim with 40 years' worth of food, fact and trivia. So guess what? We're going to feed our faces. For me there is only one place that deserves the designation of "first feeder," and that is Forno, Campo di Fiori. This is the incredible bakery that holds court in the corner of the largest food market in Rome. To the right of the bakery entrance are the ovens where you can watch the bakers caressing large pieces of billowy cream-colored dough, stretching them out to the length of an NBA basketball player, so thin that you could slip them under a door. The baker deftly and repeatedly pokes the dough with all 10 fingers to form the signature dimples, paints it liberally with extra virgin olive oil and lightly sprinkles on the toppings.

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When in Rome, do as the taste buds would - JSOnline

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We walk through the bakery door, and I immediately see my favorite, Potato and Rosemary, with a perfectly thin, crispy potato topping and sprigs of fragrant herbs. The counter man takes his oversize pizza sword and hacks it to a mutually agreed size with a quick chop and deftly folds the taglio (slice) into a piece of pastry paper that immediately stains with glistening oil. At bite one, you know you are in Rome. Here's my version that will be a suitable substitute; just don't expect to see the pope. Sanford S " andy"D'Amato, chef/co-owner of Sanford Restaurant, 1547 N. Jackson St., Coquette Cafe, 316 N. Milwaukee St., and Harlequin Bakery, is a James Beard Award winner. For more information, visit www.sanfordrestaurant.com.

Recipes: Pizza Bianca with Potatoes, Rosemary and Onions Makes a 14-by-18-inch pizza
Pizza dough (see recipe) 2 tablespoons plus cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided) 1 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled, core removed and thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 to 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled (about 1 pounds) 4 large sprigs rosemary (you will need cup leaves picked off stems) Flour to coat pizza dough Semolina flour to coat pizza dough cup grated aged Asiago cheese cup grated Fontina cheese Prepare dough and set aside. Place a large saut pan over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add onion and saut 5 to 6 minutes, until tender and just lightly starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onion from pan to cool. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water 12 to 14 minutes until just slightly underdone when you stick a knife into potato. Drain and cool. Slice potatoes in half and place flat side on cutting board and cut very thin slices about 1/8 inch thick. Place potatoes in a bowl, cover with cup olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and add rosemary. Toss potatoes to evenly coat, trying not to break them up. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place pizza stones or a large sheet tray in oven to preheat.
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When in Rome, do as the taste buds would - JSOnline

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Press out dough on a floured board. Lightly dust top with flour. With a rolling pin, roll out dough from the center to make about a 14-by-18-inch rectangle. Crust can be free-form; do not worry about it being exact. Dough should be very thin. Cover with a large towel and let dough rise about 10 minutes. Remove towel and dock dough with your fingers by pressing them in to form indentations all over dough to flatten out. Place dough on a wooden peel or a large piece of cardboard sprinkled with a bit of semolina to facilitate placing in the oven. Brush dough with part of remaining olive oil to cover completely. Season dough lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over dough all the way to edges but not over the edge. Scatter reserved onions evenly over cheese. Place potatoes randomly in one layer over onions and cheese to cover, bringing the slices close to the edge. Sprinkle remaining olive oil over top. Carefully transfer pizza to stone or baking sheet in oven and bake 6 to 9 minutes until dark brown and very crispy on edges. Remove and serve warm.

Pizza dough:
cup plus 1 tablespoon room temperature water tablespoon dry yeast cup extra virgin olive oil plus teaspoon to coat dough (divided) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup (6 ounces) fine-grain semolina flour 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour Mix water, yeast and cup oil in mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook. Run on low speed 30 seconds to mix; let stand 5 minutes. Mix salt, semolina and all-purpose flours together and add to bowl. Mix 10 to 12 minutes on low to medium speed (stop machine and push dough off hook every 4 minutes). Shape dough in a ball and place in a larger bowl with remaining teaspoon oil to coat outside of dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rest in a warm (about 80 to 85 degrees) for 2 hours until dough doubles in size. Punch down dough. Place on plastic wrap and cover with towel to rise again (about 1 hour) or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 12 hours). You can hold it longer, but dough texture will change a bit. Archives Cranberry tart brings meal to a sweet close Hazelnuts roasting set the heart afire Hearts melt when cheese meets bread Squash dumplings fit the season and senses Bikers in Italy take to wheels of cheese 2,000 filets gave me the willies

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When in Rome, do as the taste buds would - JSOnline

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