Star chef Mario Batali's terrific flatbread sandwiches are topped with slices of creamy Gorgonzola dolce and coppa as soon as they're taken off the griddle.
Make the dough: In a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, blend the flour, baking soda, salt and lard at medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine on, add the water in a thin stream and mix until the dough forms a ball. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough into an 8-inch log and cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and arrange on a baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat a cast-iron griddle over moderate heat. On an unfloured work surface, roll out each ball of dough to a thin 7-inch round. Working in batches, griddle the piadine just until lightly browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, 1 minute more. Keep the piadine warm in foil in a preheated oven while you cook the rest.
Add the toppings: Arrange the warm piadine on a platter or plates. Top with the sliced Gorgonzola, coppa and pears and serve.
Suggested pairing: A sparkling wine, like an Italian Lambrusco.
From Food & Wine (April 2013), contributed by Mario Batali
Richard Wrangham, a professor at Harvard University and author of Catching Fire, studies the role of cooking in human evolution. "Once you start thinking about the importance of cooking -- its supply of energy, its strange distribution compared to natural foods -- it's bound to have affected our evolution hugely, our behavior, our society, our cognition, all sorts of features about us," he says.