Pizza Giambotta

This pizza features Italian sausage , sweet peppers, and onions.

Start dough at 4p for dinner between 7p and 8p
1 cup warm water
2 tsp instant-rise yeast
3-1/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin not necessary)
Combine ingredients and knead by hand for 10 minutes or machine
for two to five minutes. Coat dough ball in a thin film of olive oil or cooking spray, cover in plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size.


3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage in casing
2 tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (about one large)
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded (You can also substitute fontina, as I often do.)
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce with fresh basil and parsley and dried oregano
2 bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped  (The color is up to you, but I like red and orange or yellow, rather than green.)
2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled

About an hour before dinner time, turn the oven up as high as it will go, preferably 500 degrees. Thirty to forty minutes before baking, roll dough out to 15” circle. [Or divide dough if you want to make two smaller pizzas.] Place on pizza screen if available, being careful not to press the dough into the mesh. With your fingers, press and form a 1/2 inch border around the edge.  Gently brush or rub the dough with the olive oil.  Cover with plastic wrap for this second rise

Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch thick coins.  In a large skillet, cook the sausage still in their casing in the olive oil over medium heat until cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

In the pan you used to cook the sausage, add the onion and cook over medium heat for two minutes to soften.

Spread the tomato sauce over the dough up to the raised border.  Spread the onion over the sauce.  Arrange the sausage coins evenly over the onion. Sprinkle the oregano over all, followed by the shredded cheese.  Arrange the bell peppers over the cheese, pressing them in gently.

Bake the  pizza on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and speckled.

My wife particularly liked this one.

Mangia! Mangia!

Serves 4 to 6.

The dough for this recipe came from James McNair’s excellent New Pizza Don’t be discouraged by the one-star reviews, they are bogus, imho.  One dweeb complained that McNair didn’t cover such arcane techniques as cold fermentation.  Geez.  If you want a cold ferment, use room temperature water and let the dough rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  But, you’re not going to have pizza tonight, and you won’t taste the subtleties a cold ferment brings to dough under all those toppings.


The Giambotta recipe itself is derived from one in The Ultimate Pizza by Pasquale Bruno, Jr., another quite reliable pizza book.


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Pizza Margherita

I have nine pizza cookbooks, and seven of them have  a recipe for Pizza Margherita.  In part this is because it is a classic, and in part because the story of its creation is clearly known and iconic.  In 1889, the Italian royal couple King Umberto and Queen Margherita paid a visit to Naples.  While there, local pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito made three types of pizza for them: a marinara pizza with anchovies; a bianca (white) pizza with lard, provolone or caciocavallo cheese, and basil; and a pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, featuring the red, white, and green of the Italian flag.  The queen was particularly delighted by that last one, and when Esposito received a note of thanks from her, he dedicated the pizza to her.

Continue reading “Pizza Margherita”