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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nona Cornaccio's Onion Pizza

This recipe is a bit different from my great grandmother's recipe which was on a white Sicilian style crust. I remember eating this pizza at my Nona Cornaccio's (She's in the photo with my Uncle Angelo) as a child and every time I smell it baking I feel like I am at her large round table in Jersey City NJ and I am 6 years old again. I can almost hear her saying, "Mangia, mangia!" with her sweet raspy voice with a heavy Italian accent that sounded like pure comfort to me. Onion pizza (and plastic covered furniture) will always remind me of my sweet great grandmother , Nona Cornaccio!

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth. ~Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

pizza crust recipe for 2 pizzas
4 large onions Red or Vidalia
olive oil
4 cups mozzarella
dried oregano
salt & pepper

Prepare dough in mixer or by hand and cover and rest for 30 minutes
Heat oven with a stone on bottom rack to 550
Place a piece of parchment on to 2 cookie sheets or pizza pans.
Saute onions in oil until golden and soft and set aside.
Punch down dough and spread it out with your hands on to the parchment that you cut to fit the pizza. Make dimples all over with your fingers and allow it to sit for 20 minutes to slightly rise, this will give it the Sicilian style dough. Add the oil to the crust and spread all over with your hands just like my Nona Cornacchio used to do! Spread the onions on top and add oregano, salt, pepper, parmesan and mozzarella in that order.
Slide on to stone and bake for 10 - 15 minutes (depends on your oven but the cheese will be melted and slightly browned)
Remove and drizzle more oil onto the crust!

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