Call it Grandma, Sicilian or simply Sheet-Pan Pizza, but do bookmark this all-purpose dinner hero. (*the recipe for A Pizza Called Home)
Hello, this is a reader supported publication, made possible by the generosity of subscribers like you. Your support is deeply appreciated! ♡
Yesterday, I sent you all an essay—A Pizza Called Home— that chronicled my journey from the Midwest to Manhattan to the lower Catskills (via Queens!), all through the thread of pizza. But the pizza was just a ruse: it’s a story about belonging and finding home—with the help of some generous restauranteurs and a few special slices. I hope you’ll get a chance to read it this weekend—or someday.
In the meantime, I promised to follow up with a short/sweet (aka: direct hit!) recipe for all subscribers for making said Grandma Pie or Sicilian-style pizza—both derivatives of American pan pizzas. Without further ado, here it is.
It goes without saying this would be perfect and easy pre/post-trick-or-treating food for the week ahead. Enjoy, and please let me know if you make this, and what you put on yours (alternative topping combinations and suggestions highly encouraged, in the comments below!).
SPRING ONION AND SOPRESATTA SHEET PAN PIZZA
Adapted from Every Day is Saturday, by Sarah Copeland
Toppings for this fool-proof, no-skills-required pizza run the gamut. For adults, a fennel and spicy soppressata moment wins raves. A simpler cheese and broccoli version keeps small people happy, and parents satisfied with the just-enough-vegetables-vibe to let you kick back and feel you’ve done your job (use sweet Italian sausage only—or skip meat all altogether; and replace the fennel with broccoli, one-for-one).
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 -1 lb (455 g)balls plain, whole wheat, or multi-grain pizza dough (see below)*
1 cup tomato sauce (see recipe, below)**
2 ½ cups (12 ounces/200g) grated mozzarella
4 ounces (115 g) salami, soppressata, or sweet Italian sausage
1 small fennel bulb or red onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp fennel seed, crushed (optional)
½ cup (about 2 ounces/55 g) finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Fresh baby greens or herbs, for garnish
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 525° (if your oven only goes to 500, that’s fine)
Coat an 18 x 13-inch baking sheet (cookie sheet) with 1/4 cup of oil. Gently stretch the two room-temperature balls of dough in an even layer, to reach into all four corners of the baking sheet, taking your time to stretch evenly with the seam meeting in the middle. Press the seam together to make one large crust. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a thin dish towel (so it won’t dry out) and set aside at room temperature until puffed and airy, about 40 minutes.
Gently spoon the tomato sauce evenly over the top, taking care not to deflate the crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella and top with soppressata, spring onion, fennel seeds (if using), and cheese—or your other favorite toppings.
Bake until the dough is evenly set and crisp and brown on the bottom and around the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, and sprinkle with sea salt. Top with young greens or herbs, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm.
Prep Time: 45 minutes // Cook Time: 30 minutes
*THIS IS THE TIME FOR A DUH-PIZZA DOUGH
Sure, it’s nice to make your own pizza dough with a sourdough starter and an overnight ferment—but for this kind of pizza, which doesn’t have to stretch ultra-thin, a prepared pizza dough from the supermarket, or your local pizza shop does just fine.
The key is to let a prepared pizza dough set at room temperature for a long while—at least an hour or more if you can—so it is warm and puffy before you try to stretch it. You’ll have a bubbly crust to show for it. If you have do have the time and want to go the extra mile, use this easy, homemade foccacia dough as your pizza base.
This will work with almost any toppings you love. I’ve made it with corn and grated zucchini (in the summer), salami and green olives (all season), red onion and shaved winter squash (from fall through early spring). You do you! Avoid anything too wet that will make your crust soggy; and remember the oven is super high and the cook time is short so aim for thinly sliced pieces that will cook through and get delightfully crispy (but not burnt) in under 30 minutes.
**ALL-PURPOSE RED SAUCE
Some people are picky about the difference between pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and marinara; I don’t have time to be. I like my tomato sauce pure, tasty, and seasoned just enough (not too sweet, not too salty). For pizza, sauce tastes best when it’s super lively and fresh, rather than long-simmered, so you can still taste the life in every tomato. Puree the recipe below in a food processor or blender and spoon it raw onto the dough, where it cooks in the oven with the other toppings.
For a more pasta-y red sauce: add the exact same ingredients to a shallow pan (without draining the tomatoes), and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Add in cooked short or long noodles, and toss over low heat for the pasta to get coated in sauce; finish with a sprinkling of parm and freshly cracked pepper.
1 28-oz. (794 g) can whole peeled tomatoes (such as San Marzano), drained
2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (optional)
2 garlic cloves
6 Tbsps olive oil, plus for storing (see note)
¼ cup (3 g) fresh basil leaves
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pulse tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, oil, and basil in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth (some texture is okay and for my tastes—preferred); season with salt and pepper. Spoon over your pizza as needed.
Top any remaining sauce with a generous glug of olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 2 months.
Prep Time: 5 minutes // Total Time: 5 minutes
Photos for this post by Gentl + Hyers, for Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland Copyright 2019.