I love Italian food. Maybe that is why I married an Italian! Anyway, when Speck Alto Adige challenged me to create a Speck recipe with their Italian lightly smoked and cured ham, I was up for the challenge! You are going to love this recipe for Speck on pizza. I did receive a cut of Speck to facilitate my recipe inspiration. I did not receive monetary compensation and the opinions expressed are my own.
What is Speck?
As I just shared, Speck is lightly spiced, gently smoked, cured ham from northern Italy. But I wanted to know what speck is in the true sense of experiencing it. So first, I opened up my package of Speck meat and took a thin slice. I smelled it. Hmmm… smokey and peppery! I was a bit surprised because I expected it to more mild. I went ahead and tasted it. Yup, smokey and a little peppery. Delicious, lingering flavor delivered in a rich smooth meat. Quite mouth-watering.
I did a little research to where these bold flavors were coming from and it turns out that Speck Alto Adige uses bay leaves, rosemary, juniper berries, salt and pepper in the curing process. Speck Alto Adige PGI uses family recipes passed down from generation to generation. This is a top-quality gourmet product. Speck is very similar to prosciutto but it is smoked during the final stage. The traditional method for making this specialty ham calls for the “use a little salt, a little smoke and lots of fresh mountain air.” This ham curing process relies on the traditional techniques and artisanal skill of the producers. You can taste the magic of pork done at its finest.
You can find Speck at most Italian delis.
Now, what Speck recipe to make with it? I thought of Speck wrapped pears, yum. I thought of Speck and Swiss cheese croissants, yum. But I decided to go with arugula and speck on pizza because it is fancy and simple at the same time. I love recipes like this that are easy to execute but good enough to impress.
My Favorite Speck Recipe- Arugula and Speck On Pizza
To execute this speck recipe, it will be best to have a wood-fired pizza oven! However, it works fine to have a Pizza Stone and a Pizza Paddle. You could probably get by without them and just use a baking pan if you had to. However, the pizza stone helps absorb the really high heat and make your crust crispier even underneath.
Pizza Dough (You can make your own as my husband does using the Lehmann Pizza Dough Calculator or you can go the lazy route, like I do, and buy fresh made pizza dough at Publix in the bread department.)
Tomato sauce or Marinara (You can make your own, like my hubby, or get some of Emeril’s marinara like I do.)
Speck, thinly sliced
Mozzarella Cheese, grated
Arugula, washed and patted dry
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1 clove of garlic, pressed
How To Make Arugula And Speck Pizza:
Insert your pizza stone in the oven on a middle shelf and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Make sure it is fully preheated before you put the pizza in. A hot oven and pizza stone are essential to a nice crisp pizza dough instead of a soggy middle.
Prepare a nice clean and clear off work surface. Use the semolina flour to sprinkle on the clean counter. Then place your ball of dough down and roll out your pizza dough. You can do small individual pizzas, or one large pizza. We like to do individual 10 inch pies for a thinner, crisper crust.
Sprinkle a bit of semolina flour onto the pizza paddle and lay the rolled out pizza dough on top of the floured paddle to make it easy to transfer your pizza into the oven and onto the pizza stone.
Use a large spoon to deliver some pizza sauce to the dough and smooth it around in circles until lightly covered with marinara leaving a 1 inch border uncovered.
Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese until the marina is lightly covered.
Push the pizza off onto the pizza stone and allow to bake for about 6 minutes.
Slice thin slices of your Speck Italian ham hunk. Pull the pizza back out and lay thin slices of Speck on pizza then reinsert into the oven.
Cook about 3-4 more minutes or until cheese is melted and crust has browned. Remove from oven.
You could stop right there and enjoy a delicious Speck pizza but I love the peppery flavor of arugula and it is great with the saltiness from the cooked Speck. So I would proceed to add arugula which is also a healthy addition!
Mix the olive oil and vinegar and pressed garlic in a bowl and add a few hand fulls of fresh arugula. Mix them around to coat evenly and then arrange some arugula leaves evenly over the top of your pizza.
Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt if you so desire.
Then slice and serve! Delicious or as my husband would say, “Delizioso!”
Printable Recipe Card For Arugula and Speck Pizza
I love the light saltiness and rich meat flavor of the Speck balanced by the lightly acidic and peppery arugula. These fresh ingredients make an amazing pizza. Yum!
I hope you enjoy this arugula and speck pizza recipe. I know I did! What are your favorite Speck recipes? Have you ever tried speck on pizza before? Have you ever tried speck meat before?