Dear Biba. Thank you for the inspiration from your book "Modern Italian Cooking" and for the translation, Pizza with Ham. It is a fabulous pizza although I admit I took a little "cook's" license and changed up the oregano you suggested for some of the pesto I made yesterday.
I admit I goofed somewhat and used fresh tomatoes instead of tomato sauce because I didn't want the pesto to muddy the sauce plus that gorgeous red orb was winking at me from the counter.Silly me. Obviously that's the reason you stress "plum" tomatoes in your Pizza alla Napoletana because the beautiful perfectly ripe small sized beefsteak I used had far too much liquid and made the center of the pie rather "moist". I should have roasted the tomato first and/or used the sun dried version.
Oh well, the outside crust was crisp and lovely anyway. I used a lot of fresh mozzarella too rather than the quarter cup you suggested, but recipes are just guidelines anyway aren't they and I am a self professed Class "A" cheeseaholic. A 12 inch pie is way too much for one person so I'll be thanking you for breakfast later. My love for cold pizza is surpassed only by my love of ice cream.
There is something I need to tell you though about your recipe for Basic Pizza Dough on page 302 of said book. Honestly I don't know how to say this and I hesitate to hurt your feelings although surely it must have been a printing error but 1 Tablespoon of salt is far too much of a good thing in a yeast based dough with only 1-1/2 cups of flour, unless you have a share in a local winery in which case the excess salt makes enormous sense.
But no matter. I confess I used a pre-made Trader Joe crust instead although had I really tried your recipe, surely I would have known better...but then again maybe not. After all you're the professional and I'm just a mere "hobby" cook as an impossibly snobby, autocratic, arrogant Austrian chef once told me. Course he's the idiot that "flew" through a screen door rather than opening it first. You can be sure I roared with laughter every time I saw him after that and I swear it took at least a month before the screen imprint on his forehead disappeared completely. Just proves that anyone can make a mistake, doesn't it.
Thank you for your fabulous cookbooks and for the pages, and pages of inspiration they provide. Your "fresh interpretation of traditional (Italian) dishes" is a real treat to behold and I would be remiss if I didn't express my genuine appreciation for your talent.
Your faithful servant and wanna'be,