Years ago I found this recipe for piadina in an issue of Food and Wine magazine, and despite the presence of ricotta cheese I actually was able to convince Michael to make it fairly often. This was before I started making my own pizza dough so we’d use the stuff from the store, and then once I started making my own dough I think we became too preoccupied with making pizza to try making these again. Once we did use the ingredients on a full-fledged pizza, but I think it might have been too much ricotta for Michael to handle so we haven’t done it since.
Back on President’s Day I was flipping through cookbooks looking for a good afternoon project that would hopefully turn into lunch when I saw Polpo’s recipe for mushroom piadina. By the time I had decided I wanted one it was too late to make a pizza dough from scratch and thanks to a random snowstorm driving was out of the question, so I started looking for a good dough alternative and a few pages later saw a recipe for carta di musica. It’s meant to be a paper-thin, cracker-like flatbread that’s served with just sea salt and a little olive oil, but I figured I could roll it out a little more thickly so it could hold up to some ricotta, cooked mushrooms, and arugula.
The flatbread itself was great–the mixture of the 00 and semolina flour gave it a nice bite and body–and I think the next time I make this I’ll refrain from baking it for quite as long because I’d like it to be slightly more pliable. The cheese and the mushrooms and the arugula were just what I wanted after spending a good hour shoveling snow outside, and paired with a nice spritz (also inspired by Polpo) I had a very satisfying lunch. The spritz was ridiculously easy: pour white wine over ice and top with one and a half ounces of Aperol or Campari, and finish with some soda water. I’m pretty sure this is the only way I find putting ice into wine acceptable, and I think it’s going to be a new favorite spring cocktail.
Mushroom Quasi-Piadina on Carta di Musica with apologies to Polpo
Makes 2 long, thin flatbreads with additional dough that can be frozen.
For the flatbread:
- 100 g semolina flour
- 150 g Italian 00 flour
- 150 ml water
- Kosher salt
For the topping:
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cups arugula
- Kosher salt and pepper
For the flatbread: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients and knead into a dough; continue kneading until the dough is together and smooth. Let rest for a few minutes while you get the mushrooms going, and then take pieces about the size of a lacrosse ball out and roll out thinly, placing on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until desired doneness. Let cool.
For the topping: in a medium to large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and let cook until fragrant, and then add the mushrooms. Season with a little salt and cook until the mushrooms reduce in size, about 10 minutes, and toss with the fresh herbs. Season to taste again when the mushrooms are ready.
In the meantime, season the ricotta with a little salt and pepper to taste.
When the flatbreads and mushrooms are finished, spread the ricotta thinly over each flatbread and then top with the mushrooms and arugula, dividing them equally. Use a stout bread knife and a cutting board to cut them into smaller pieces before serving, and then serve immediately.
Spritz as adapted from Polpo
Makes one cocktail
- 3 oz white wine
- 1.5 oz Aperol or Campari
- Soda water
- Wheel of lemon
Fill a small wine glass or cocktail glass halfway with ice, and then add the wine and the Aperol or Campari. Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wheel and serve immediately.