Flat Bread Pizza ~alla Panna~ with Sweet Corn, Asparagus, and Crispy Pancetta

In the summer I try to cook a little lighter and definitely make every effort to take advantage of all the amazing fruits and vegetables available here in Southern California.  I started making these lighter versions of  “pizza” a few years ago for a team building cooking class and they have since  evolved into a family favorite.  Each time I throw them together I come up with a new combination of flavors, depending on what’s in season.  The lavosh gets lightly brushed with olive oil – this helps the pizza to crisp up quickly- and then topped with … well, really anything.  The key is to keep the ingredients simple and light so you don’t weigh down the flat bread or your scale.  Today I started with some fresh asparagus, sweet corn and pancetta.  The flavors reminded me of Carbonara so I made a simple roasted garlic panna to bring it all together.  Lastly, I topped it off with a light sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan.  The corn and asparagus loved each other … so sweet and bursting with summer flavor.  The salty crunchy pancetta and the garlicky panna rounded out the flavors perfectly – this one is definitely a keeper.   I have to admit it did make me want to turn this whole dish into a Carbonara pasta dish or a big bowl of  risotto- but I reminded myself…lighter lighter lighter.  I also made one with  burrata, heirloom tomato, and summer squash.  I topped it with a splash of arugula sprinkled with olive oil and lemon juice- this one is always on the menu.  The ingredient pairings are endless, invent something new and let me know how it goes, I’m always looking for new ideas.    

Roasted Garlic Panna

8 oz heavy whipping cream
1 small head of garlic – roasted
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
Zest of 1/4 of a lemon

  • To roast garlic, cut the top of the head of garlic off with a sharp knife and drizzle with olive oil- sprinkle with salt and wrap completely in a foil
  • Place into a preheated 350 degree oven and roast for 35-45 minutes
  • Once cooled squeeze roasted garlic paste from their skins
  • With an emulsion blender puree garlic into cream (or in a blender)
  • In a small sauce pot bring the cream to a low simmer – add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon zest
  • Simmer over low heat until almost reduced by a third – about 20 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool 

Flat Bread Pizza
Whole wheat flat bread (lavosh)
Olive Oil
Roasted garlic panna
Fresh asparagus – slice thinly
Fresh sweet corn kernels
2 oz pancetta – small dice, rendered until fat has been released and crispy
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to highest setting 450-500 degrees and place oven rack on the upper shelf
  • Brush both sides of the flat bread with olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet
  • Lightly brush on 2-3 Tablespoons of garlic panna
  • Scatter asparagus, corn and pancetta over the flat bread and top lightly with Parmesan cheese
  • Season lightly with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Drizzle more panna over the top and place into preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges are brown and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Serve warm 
4 comments… add one
  • Cooking with Kait June 24, 2010, 4:30 pm

    This dish is so beautiful! Good job on resisting the heavy temptations and keeping it light!

  • Nicole Schwartz June 25, 2010, 3:57 am

    Where do you come up with these great ideas!!! And how do you know exactally what I want for dinner!!! So, yummy and lovely… than you for sharing… can I have some???

  • riadolly June 29, 2010, 8:15 pm

    Everything looks so beautiful and delicious Louise! YUM!

  • lavienouveau July 16, 2010, 7:33 pm

    wow! this sounds possibly like heaven…

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