This is one of my favorite pizzas of all time. When you use tomato sauce selectively rather than on every pizza, you appreciate it that much more. The spiciness of this particular sauce is strong enough to stand up to (and strengthen) the flavors of fennel, onion, and white wine. Shaved parmesan finishes things off on a bright, sharp note, and the mozzarella helps smooth everything out.
We often make four different pizzas at a time, so we each get a slice or two of each flavor. This way no one gets bored of any particular flavor, or stuck with a pizza that they don’t end up liking. This is a pizza that I prefer to make an exception; I love it so much that I want the whole thing to myself! (Of course, I’ll make one each for everyone else too.)
If you’re using a different tomato sauce that isn’t spicy, sprinkle the pizza with a generous pinch of chili flakes at the end to add the heat that makes it so special.
Pizza with Braised Fennel and Onions, Spicy San Marzano Sauce, Garlic Chips, and Parmesan
Prepare and cook the fennel and onions:
- Cut the 1/2 onion and 1/2 fennel bulb into similarly-sized slices, discarding the fennel’s core.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, and add the onion and fennel slices along with a generous pinch of salt.
- Cook the onion and fennel over medium heat until they become transparent and the edges just begin to brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the brut champagne and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender, another 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium again, and cook for a few minutes to evaporate most of the liquid.
Prepare the garlic chips:
- As the fennel and onion cook, peel and very thinly slice the garlic clove.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a very small pot or pan until it just begins to flow more easily.
- Add the garlic slices and cook until they’re opaque and just beginning to turn slightly golden, then quickly remove from the hot oil and drain on a paper towel.
- Note: keep the garlic-infused oil for another use!
Assemble the pizza:
- Stretch the pizza dough to an approximately 12” circle, then spread with the spicy San Marzano sauce, leaving a 3/4” rim clean.
- Top with the 3 ounces of cubed mozzarella, followed by the fennel and onions, and finally the garlic chips.
- Bake until perfectly golden brown, turning once halfway through. Remove from the oven and shave parmesan on top.