Pizza and a Movie #4 – Prosciutto Arugula Pizza with Fontina and Berserk! (1967)


The 1967 film Berserk! stars Joan Crawford in her penultimate film appearance as the iron-fisted ringmaster of a circus plagued by a series of increasingly bizarre murders.

If you enjoy your pizza with movies that include garroted high-wire performers, dancing elephants, nails through the forehead, performing poodles, women accidentally sawed in two, underwhelming freaks, and an ending that feels it was decided upon when the producers ran out of money, Berserk! is the movie for you!

This pizza came together as a result of MG’s prosciutto passion and my desire to break away from tomato sauce for a while. If you’re looking for something a little lighter and brighter than your typical pizza pie, this is definitely the way to go.

Make sure you go with a quality pizza crust if you aren’t making from scratch because its flavor is going to be more apparent without having to compete against a heavy sauce on top of it. You may even want to coat your crust or dough with a few tablespoons of honey along with the olive oil to bring up the sweet factor. The fontina cheese is creamy with just a hint of nuttiness, and it melts beautifully. The prosciutto and onions bring a bit of a salty bite to the party. And the introduction of the arugula in the last two minutes of cooking folds it nicely into the rest of the ingredients without extinguishing any of its peppery freshness.

Without the tomato sauce, this is a much cleaner, easy to execute pizza that makes a great summertime dinner or appetizer on the deck while you’re watching the sun set with a glass of chilled white wine… or in our case watching two hours of a lighting guy desperately trying to hide Joan Crawford’s neck.

Prosciutto Arugula Pizza with Fontina

  • Prepared pizza dough
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil for sauteed onions and prosciutto
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil for pizza crust
  • 1/2 large onioin, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 cups packed coarsely chopped arugula
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 500º F

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Add onion, prosciutto and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Roll out pizza dough and brush with 2 tablespoons oilve oil (and honey if desired).  Place crust in the oven and allow to cook approximately four minutes.

Open oven and top crust with the onion prosciutto mixture and shredded fontina.  Return to the oven for another seven minutes

Open oven again and top with tomatoes, arugula and shaved parmesan,  Return to the oven for up to another two minutes, but make sure not to let the arugula wilt. Alternatively, top with arugula, tomato and shaved parmesan once pizza has fully cooked and is removed from oven.

It’s pretty clear from this film that Joan Crawford was a woman who simply wanted to work.  It’s not really much of a movie worth watching with the sound up, but there is a reasonable amount of unintentional humor and plenty of entertaining animal acts on display.

Plus, any Oscar-winning actress who’s willing to deliver the line, “Presenting Phyllis Allen… and her intelligent poodles!” with not a shred of embarrassment is a winner in my book.

 

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One thought on “Pizza and a Movie #4 – Prosciutto Arugula Pizza with Fontina and Berserk! (1967)

  • August 21, 2011 at 5:40 am
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    I am embarrassed to say I watched the video twice… I can see that it would be cheaper to have just adults on set rather than paying for children (that sentence will get you showing up on interesting searches),

    But why is there one geeky looking young male early, and only two adult males and an audience of women watching the circus?

    And “What ever happened to poodle trainer Phyllis Allen?”

    Gary, i can see another movie from this idea (at least till our producer money runs out)

    And great pizza too

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