Dear SOS: Orso on 3rd Street has the best thin-crust pizza in town. Their Romano pizza is my favorite. It has just the right blend of cheeses and no tomato sauce. I'd love to know how it's created!
Robert Nunes Beverly Hills
Dear Robert: This is one pizza pie that packs great flavor onto a super-thin crust. Great as an appetizer or light dinner, Orso's pizza combines a blend of three cheeses with a pinch each of red pepper and fresh parsley sprinkled over for a little heat and bright color. The wafer-like crust bakes faster than you can say mangiare. Well, almost.
Orso's Romano pizzaTotal time: 45 minutes, plus rising time Servings: 8 to 12 Note: From Orso restaurant. Fine and coarse semolina flour is available at select Indian and Italian markets. 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup coarse semolina flour 1/4 cup fine semolina flour 1/4 cup all-purpose flour Salt 3 cloves garlic, chopped and divided 3/4 cup grated mozzarella, divided 3/4 cup grated provolone, divided 3/8 cup grated Parmesan, divided 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, divided 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, divided 1. In a small bowl, mix one-fourth cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water with the yeast and olive oil. In a separate large bowl, mix together the flours. Slowly mix the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and knead to form a coarse dough. This makes enough for three pizzas. 2. Cover and set the dough aside for 10 minutes, then knead the dough again, adding additional water as necessary a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough again and allow to rest until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. 3. Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough into thirds. On a lightly floured board (note that you will transfer the pizzas from the board to the pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven), roll the first portion out as thinly as possible to form a 12-inch circle. 4. Sprinkle a third of the garlic over the dough, then top with a third of each of the cheeses and sprinkle over one-half teaspoon crushed red pepper. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings to form three pizzas. 5. Carefully transfer the first pizza from the board to the hot pizza stone in the oven. The pizza will bake quickly -- no more than 2 to 3 minutes -- and will be done when the cheese is melted and the crust is crunchy and golden-brown. Repeat with the remaining pizzas, then top each with a light sprinkling of parsley leaves. Cut into 8 to 12 slices then serve immediately. Each of 12 servings: 143 calories; 7 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 13 mg. cholesterol; 146 mg. sodium.