Pizza alla Siciliana is made with a thick airy crust, similar to a focaccia. The bottom of the crust is crispy and, unlike most pizzas, there is a much higher amount of sauce vis-à-vis the cheese.
This pizza was inspired by the pizza of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The unifying characteristics of Sicilian pizza are that the crust is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and it is piled with a lot of tomato sauce flavored with a hint anchovy. In fact, there is so much tomato sauce, I had no idea how I'd use it all. Thankfully, I did, and was so happy with the results.
This was one of those jump up and down, "I can't believe I actually made this deliciousness!" recipes. It's that good. I kept slicing off thin slivers of this pizza to eat after dinner, fooling myself into thinking that they didn't count because they were so thin. Have you ever done that?
If you think you don't like anchovies, please suspend judgment. You don't actually taste them (or even see them). Instead, they enhance the flavor of the pizza and the sauce.
The pizza can be shaped into a rectangle or a round, and can be baked in a pan or on a baking stone. I used a dark round 14 inch pizza pan, which I placed on a preheated pizza stone. I shaped the dough right on the pan, which made it so much easier to move it to the oven. You can also slide the dough directly onto the stone from a pizza peel if you prefer.
You can make the sauce a couple of days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. A little hint on peeling the tomatoes: While the onions are boiling, cut one shallow slit into the skin of each tomato, and drop each, one at a time, into the boiling onions for one minute. Fish them out of he boiling water with a slotted spoon, and peel. The skins slips right off.
This month, the Bread Bakers are making Italian breads. thanks so much to Anshie of Spiceroots for choosing this great theme. I do have a lot of Italian breads on this blog, including Pane di Genzano (which got me into trouble with the Italian bread police), L'Otto di Merano, Pane di Pasqua, and many other Italian bread recipes!
After the recipe, be sure to check out all of the links for more delicious breads.
Pizza alla Siciliana Recipe
- 2 large yellow or brown onions (about 1 pound) chopped
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small anchovies, drained, boned, and chopped
Sicilian Pizza Dough
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (375 grams) lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or lard (I used lard)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 grams) salt
- 4 cups (550 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
- 3 large, or 6 small anchovies, rinsed, boned, and chopped
- 4 tablespoons (25 grams) grated mild provolone cheese
- 1 6 ounce jar roasted artichoke hearts packed in oil, drained and chopped
- All of the Sfinciuni tomato sauce
- 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1/2 cup (86 grams) coarsely chopped prosciutto
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley (optional)
- To make the sauce: Simmer the onions in the water in a 4 quart saucepan for an hour, covered.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, and the anchovy, and simmer for two hours more, covered. Let sit until it comes to room temperature.
- Strain the sauce in a fine mesh strainer to remove excess liquid, and refrigerate until ready to make the pizza, up to two days.
- To make the pizza: Add the yeast and the sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the lard to the bowl, and mix with the paddle attachment. Add the salt and the flour and mix with the paddle for two minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead on medium for about 4 minutes.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Push the dough down, and let rise for 20 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with a pizza stone in the oven if you have one.
- On a lightly floured work surface, shape the dough into a ball, and then flatten into a disk. Place it on a lightly oiled pizza or half sheet pan, and stretch it out to the edges of the pan. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick with a thicker (about 1/2 inch) edge. The dough will rise quite a bit in the oven.
- Evenly sprinkle the anchovies over the top of the dough. Sprinkle half of the provolone and 3/4 of the artichoke hearts over the dough.
- Spread half of the tomato sauce over the dough and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. I used the smaller amount of salt.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and top with the rest of the tomato sauce.
- Place the pizza pan on the baking stone, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is crisp on the bottom. Take the pizza out of the oven, top with the prosciutto, the rest of the artichoke hearts, the mozzarella, and the rest of the oregano and provolone. Return the pizza to the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Brush the outside crust with olive oil as soon as you remove the pizza from the oven, and sprinkle with the parsley. Slice and serve!
This recipe was adapted from The Italian Baker by the late Carol Field. The book was first published in 1985. It covers the entire range of Italian baking. You can read more about the author here.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Casatiello by A Shaggy Dough Story
- Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls by Herbivore Cucina
- Classic Italian Bread by Hostess At Heart
- Cornetti by Gayathri's Cook Spot
- Einkorn Parmesan Piadina by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Fingermillet and Rosemary Focaccia by Sizzling Tastebuds
- Focaccia Caprese by Sneha's Recipe
- Grissini by Sara's Tasty Buds
- Gubana - An Italian Sweet Bread by The Schizo Chef
- Il Pane di Matera by Food Lust People Love
- Italian BLT Focaccia by A Salad For All Seasons
- Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime
- Italian Easter Cheese Bread by A Baker's House
- Italian Herb and Garlic Focaccia by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Italian Stuffed Pane Bianco by Cook's Hideout
- Mini Panettone by Mayuri's Jikoni
- Pane Bianco by Veenas Vegnation
- Pane di Genzano by Spiceroots
- Piadina by Passion Kneaded
- Pizza alla Siciliana by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Rosemary and Cabernet Salt Focaccia by What Smells So Good?
- Torta Salata Pasquale by A day in the Life on the Farm