From Chef Massimo Salatino of Mia Francesca Restaurant, Chicago
In Chicago they’re ordering pizza sunny side up these days, since Chef Massimo Salatino of Mia Francesca Restaurant has presented the original recipe from founder and owner, Scott Harris of Pizza Quattro Stagioni, or “Four Seasons”, which brings together the flavors from each season of year.
The Quattro Stagioni is a combination of mushrooms and olives representing fall, prosciutto for winter, artichokes for spring and an egg in the center of the pizza as the heat of summer. The soft-cooked egg is swirled together and delicately distributed around the entire pizza for the perfect combination of texture and savory flavors on the thin crispy crust. Mia Francesca’s Chef Massimo says, “Each ingredient on our Pizza Quattro Stagioni is married together by the soft cooked egg for an extremely elegant pizza experience.”
Mia Francesca features the cuisine of Rome, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio in a casually sophisticated trattoria ambiance with simple, rustic cooking, friendly service and fair prices. In the restaurant’s interior sleek lines are softened by warm woods and striking black and white photographs of rural Italian life line the walls. Mia Francesca also features an antique bar, an upstairs dining room and lounge, and a more intimate coach house tucked away behind the restaurant which is the is the perfect place to sit down with some friends and a bottle of wine while waiting for your table. In the summer, al fresco dining is also available on a charming cobblestone terrace. Mia Francesca is the original of 19 Francesca restaurants in the Chicago area.
About the chef: a native Italian, Massimo Salatino’s career has spanned two decades, from kitchens in Italy to New York City, eventually settling in Chicago. As a youngster, Salatino worked at a friend’s restaurant, where his enthusiasm and thirst for culinary knowledge was rewarded as they encouraged him to become a chef. He obtained a degree in culinary arts from Italy’s prestigious Scuola Alberghiera di Stresa, Lago Maggiore in 1982, and thus began his professional culinary career.
Salatino worked in several celebrated Italian kitchens. In 1989, Salatino moved to NYC,where he worked as Executive Chef at Ciao Bella, Bellini and Cipriani restaurants. He followed his heart to Chicago in 1991 after meeting his future wife Holly, a Chicagoan, where took the opening Executive Chef position at Vivo. After 7 years, he opened 160blue as Sous Chef and in 1999 took the position of corporate chef for the Francesca’s Restaurant Group.
His rustic, Northern-influenced Italian cooking focuses on fresh ingredients and simple techniques, and when asked what it is about cooking he enjoys best, would tell you that he still “learns something new each day.”
3311 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60657
Pizza Quattro Stagioni is served at Mia Francesca for $8.99.
This recipe makes 4 individual pizzas.
Pizza Quattro Stagioni Ingredients for the Dough:
1 Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon dry yeast
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 1/2 oz milk
5 oz lukewarm water
Pizza Quattro Stagioni Ingredients for the Topping:
12 oz Shredded mozzarella
6 oz. Crushed tomato
4 Small mushrooms, thinly sliced
20-24 Pitted black olives, sliced
4 Whole eggs
4 oz Imported Prosciutto di Parma (thinly sliced)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 oz Artichokes (fresh or canned), cut into quarters
Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Dough:
Combine water and yeast and let it stand for 5-7 minutes.
Using an electric mixer combine the flour, salt and sugar separately.
Add the yeast mixture, olive oil and milk to the dry ingredients and mix until
the dough is smooth and elastic (10-12 minutes). Add more water as necessary.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover and let rise until doubled in volume.
Fold the dough over, pressing gently to expel the gas in the bread.
The dough is ready to be cut into 4 equal portions and shaped.
Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions to Prepare the Pizza:
Preheat oven to 475º. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness.
Spoon crushed tomatoes onto each pizza dough and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Top with black olives, artichokes and mushrooms, leaving an open spot in the center for the egg. Bake for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the oven and crack the egg onto the middle of the pizza.
Return to oven and cook for 3-4 additional minutes, until the pizza crust is nice and golden in color and the egg is still a little runny.
Remove the pizzas from the oven and transfer to a plate, top with sliced prosciutto and drizzle with olive oil.
Image varies from recipe.