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.
Mario Batali is a chef, restaurateur, author and television personality. He has restaurants around the world, including Babbo, which was honored as "Best New Restaurant of 1998" by the James Beard Foundation. Batali has written nine cookbooks, hosted televison shows for the Food Network, and starred in PBS' series "Spain...On the Road Again" and in ABC's talk show "The Chew." The James Beard Foundation named him "Best Chef: New York City" in 2001 and "Outstanding Chef of the Year" in 2005. He is the founder of the Mario Batali Foundation.