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Flatiron Foodies: Covina's Brussels Sprouts + Pear Pizza

The New American restaurant Covina is brought to us by James Beard Award-Winning husband and wife duo, Chefs Tim and Nancy Cushman. The Mediterranean inspired American menu features pasta, pizza, and wood-grilled meats. Named one of the "Coziest Hangouts in NYC" by Zaggat and one of  "12 Restaurants Perfect For Literally Everyone" by The Infatuation, the restaurant has something for everyone with an inviting atmosphere. 

Chef Tim Cushman shares his recipe for Covina's Brussels Sprouts + Pear Pizza made with a mascarpone-caramelized pear sauce and grated fontina cheese topped with a sunny-side-up egg. 

Brussels Sprouts + Pear Pizza with Mascarpone Sauce: 
  • Pizza Dough, store-bought
  • 2 cups AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil         
  • 2 oz Mascarpone-Pear Sauce (see recipe below) 
  • 2 oz of Fontina Cheese, grated
  • 3 oz Brussels Sprouts, leaves only (see recipe)
  • 2 oz Ripe Pears, Bartlett or Forelle (roughly 10 ¼” slices, seeds and stem discarded)
  • 3 grams Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 Egg, large
  • Mascarpone-Pear Sauce:                             
    • 4 Ripe Pears, Bartlett or Forelle, peeled, quartered, seeds and stem discarded
    • 1 lb Marscapone             
    • 1 tbsp Grapeseed Oil   
Proof Pizza Dough 
  1. Place olive oil on a baking tray or large plate, add your pizza dough, and gently coat in the olive oil on all sides to prevent sticking. Cover baking tray or plate with plastic wrap.  Proof pizza dough by leaving at room temperature for 4 hours prior to cooking, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Pizza Toppings & Sauce
  1. Brussels sprouts & pears:
    1. Using a small paring knife, remove the core (stem end) of the brussels sprouts and discard. Gently separate the leaves and set aside.
    2. Peel and slice roughly 10 ¼” inch pear slices. Set aside for topping. 
    3. Mascarpone-pear sauce:
      1. Peel and quarter-slice 4 pears. 
      2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 3 min, until hot. 
      3. Add the grapeseed oil, then carefully add quartered pears. Allow the pears to sear and caramelize. Turn over once the first side is lightly browned. Cook until all sides are browned and the pears have softened slightly, about 5min. Remove pears from heat and allow to cool. 
      4. Place caramelized pears in a blender, along with the mascarpone, and puree until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Set aside. 
Build Your Pizza
  1. Turn your oven on to the highest temperature. This will vary depending on your home oven, but 500F or higher is preferable. Place a pizza pan on the bottom rack, close oven, and allow to heat for 1 hour while you prepare all ingredients. 
  2. Prepare your pizza dough.  Place the 2 cups of flour on a large plate. Very gently transfer your pizza dough to the flour, turning to completely coat in flour. Grab a pinch of flour and lightly dust a pizza peel, or an inverted sheet tray, to prevent sticking when transferring the dough into the oven. 
  3. Stretch your dough. (Do this step close to the pizza’s assembly). Transfer the floured dough onto a work surface.  Using your fingers, gently push air from the center of the dough toward the outside, leaving a ½” “ring” around the outside of the dough. This will become the pizza crust.  Once the center of the dough has flattened and the crust has formed, begin stretching your pizza dough.  Pick the dough up off the work surface, holding the top edge with both hands, allowing the bottom edge to touch the work surface. Carefully move your hands around the edges of the dough, allowing gravity to gently pull and stretch the dough.  Continue moving your hands around the edge, holding the dough in the air, allowing the weight of the dough to stretch it into roughly a 10” round. Don’t pull or stretch or use force, just let gravity do the work, and be as gentle as possible to keep as much air inside your dough as possible.
  4. When the pizza dough is fully stretched, transfer it to the floured pizza peel or inverted sheet tray.
  5. Try and work quickly to prevent the dough from drying out or sticking to the work surface. 
  6. Add the mascarpone-pear sauce using a ladle or the back of a spoon to gently spread it evenly across the surface of the pizza.  
  7. Add the grated fontina cheese across the pizza. Add your brussels sprout leaves and ¼” pear slices.
  8. Open the oven and gently slide the prepared pizza onto your pizza pan. Close oven and set timer for 4 min. When the timer goes off, gently crack an egg into the center of the pizza.  Close oven door and set timer for 2 min. 
  9. When the timer goes off, turn your oven broiler on at its highest temperature. Transfer your pizza pan to the broiler for 2 min and then remove the pizza pan from the oven. 
  10. Your pizza should be nicely browned and charred, and the egg should have set whites and a runny yolk.
  11. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board, and garnish with grated parmesan cheese. Slice into 8 slices and serve immediately. 


Pizza Photo Credit Above: Jen May 
Pictured below is Covina's Executive Chef Tim Cushman (Photo Credit: Erik Jacobs): 


 Covina, 127 East 27th Street, between Park & Lexington Avenues, (212) 204-0225, @covina_nyc


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