The name Chicago comes from the Algonquin word chicagoua, which some historians say means "ramp"—a wild onion with a delicious garlicky flavor. That's one reason Chicago chefs like Tony Mantuano feel a sentimental attachment to the pungent spring plant. (Scallions are also great substitutes.)
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1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
10 ramps or medium scallions
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 cup coarsely grated fresh mozzarella cheese (4 ounces); see Note
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
In a large bowl, whisk the flour together with the yeast, salt and sugar. Pour in the water and stir well with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Transfer the pizza dough to a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let stand in a warm place until the pizza dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Set a pizza stone on the bottom or on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat to 500° for at least 30 minutes.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the ramps until they are bright green but still al dente, about 1 minute. Drain, pat dry and cut into 1-inch lengths.
Punch down the pizza dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle on the grated mozzarella in an even layer. Scatter the blanched ramps over the mozzarella and season lightly with salt and pepper. Top the pizza with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the pizza crust is browned and crisp on the bottom. Transfer the pizza to a work surface, cut into wedges and serve right away.
The pizza dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.
For the cheese, Mantuano recommends the Crescenza by Paula Lambert's Mozzarella Company in Dallas (mozzco.com). You can also use water-packed fresh mozzarella or fiore di latte; drain the cheese well before grating it.
To drink with his ramp-topped pizza, Mantuano suggests a Dolcetto d'Alba from Italy's Piedmont region. It's light-bodied enough not to overwhelm the pizza's flavors, yet it has a peppery zip that can match the ramps' intensity.
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