PIZZA SENZA CROSTA
I don’t know a kid of any age that doesn’t like Pizza Senza Crosta, a bit of a cross between fondue, mozzarella sticks, and pizza. First, you heat rich tomato sauce in a large pot and add big wedges of mozzarella. When the mozzarella starts to melt, it’s time to serve. The pan is brought directly to the table and set alongside a basket of cut-up focaccia or ciabatta. Bowls of toppings—olives! Anchovies! Crudchi (dried, aromatic spicy peppers)!—are littered around the table, and everyone digs in, spooning sauce over bread, trying to snag the gooey chunks of cheese and toppings. It’s a double-dipping safe zone that I’m always excited to be part of.
To make the Pizza Without Crust recipe, first you’ll need to make this rich tomato sauce (makes 3 cups):
Salsa di Pomodoro
1/4 cup (60 ml | 57 g) medium extra- virgin olive oil
2 large white onions, finely chopped (about 2-1/2 cups)
2 cups (475 ml | 454 g) passata di pomodoro
6 sprigs basil
q.b. coarse sea salt and crushed Tellicherry black peppercorns (Translated, q.b. is “just enough”)
In a large saucepan, combine the olive oil and onions and sauté over medium heat until the onions are transparent, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the passata and basil and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has reduced by one-third, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard the basil sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Use immediately or reheat before serving. Salsa di Pomodoro will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
— Rolando Beramendi
ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Rolando discuss this recipe, as well as others from the book.
Excerpted from Autentico: Cooking Italian the Authentic Way by Rolando Beramendi. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin. Copyright © 2017 Rolando Beramendi. Photographs copyright © 2017 Laurie Frankel.
- 2 cups (500 ml / 500 g) Salsa di Pomodoro (see recipe above)
- q.b. coarse sea salt and crushed Tellicherry black peppercorns (translated, q.b. means "just enough")
- 2 or 3 basil sprigs, plus more to finish
- 1 ball (225 g) mozzarella di bufala, sliced into 12 equal pieces
- Focaccia, ciabatta, or rustic Italian bread, cut or torn into pieces
- Bowls of olives, anchovies, pepperoncini, or cruschi, for serving
- In a large straight-sided skillet, warm the tomato sauce over medium-low heat. When the sauce begins to bubble, season with salt and pepper and stir in the basil and mozzarella slices. Cover and heat until the mozzarella is partially melted (you want some stringy pieces), about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and scatter additional basil over the top. Serve immediately with bread and condiments.
TO DRINK: A sparkling Franciacorta Bellavista.
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