5 pizza recipes from Rome-based culinary expert Katie Parla



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Katie Parla has written and edited over 20 books, including Rome Tasting: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes of an Ancient Cityand the New York Times bestseller – The pleasure of pizzaco-written with Chef/Owner Razza Dan Richer.

In his book Southern Italian cuisine, Parla sets out to challenge the concept of “Italian cuisine” based on pasta and tomato flavors that is prevalent in most places outside of Italy. As she puts it, “In most cultures, exploring food means exploring history – and southern Italy has a lot to offer.” It presents highly valued and widespread culinary traditions from the regional cuisines of southern Italy. and takes you on a tour through these dynamic destinations, sharing rich recipes, both original and reinvented, as well as historical and cultural information that encapsulates the miles of rugged beaches, mountains dotted with sheep, quiet towns and meditations and, most importantly, culinary traditions. unique to this precious piece of Italy.

You can read more about his journey from America studying art history at Yale to settling in Rome here.

We asked her to share some authentic Italian pizza recipes, and she was more than happy to do so. Here they are:

Impasto for Pizza Napoletana

(Neapolitan Pizza Dough)

The thick-rimmed Neapolitan-style pizza has become synonymous with Italy, and it’s arguably the country’s most famous export. In Naples, as elsewhere, this popular food is baked in a domed mot oven, but this recipe has been adapted for your home oven so you can enjoy the soft crust and springy dough of pizza napoletana in your own home, but if you can, take a trip to Naples for the real deal. Plan ahead to make this pizza, as the slow, cold rise in the fridge takes at least 20 hours. Following are the recipes for a classic margherita pizza and three pizzas inspired by the south and its famous pizza makers.

Makes enough dough for four 9-inch pizzas

590 grams (5 small cups) bread flour

1¾ grams (1/2 heaped teaspoon) active dry yeast

380 grams (about 1 ½ cups) cold filtered water

12 grams (2 teaspoons) sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, baking powder and cold water. Mix on the lowest speed until the dough comes together and there is no dry flour left in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let hydrate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Return the bowl to the stand mixer and mix on medium speed. Add the salt and mix for another 20 minutes to strengthen and until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface, shape it into a tight ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at 39ºF to 41ºF for at least 20 hours and up to 30 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, allow it to gently pull away from the bowl, and cut it into 4 equal pieces, weighing about 250 grams (9 ounces) each, with a dough scraper or knife.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, take all four corners and pull and fold them down the center. Do not flatten. The dough will tighten and take on a round shape. Flip the seam dough down. Place the palm of your hand on top of the ball, resting your thumb and pinky finger against the sides and your other fingers on the counter. Gently move the ball in circles, taking care to avoid any tearing to create a tight, even ball. Repeat this with the remaining pieces of dough. Place the shaped dough balls on a greased baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil and cover entire baking sheet with plastic wrap. Set aside at room temperature until the dough has almost doubled in size, about 2 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat the grill to high and place an inverted baking sheet or baking stone on the center rack to preheat as well.

Place a ball of dough on a well-floured surface, then sprinkle more flour on top. Starting in the center, work the dough into a small disk by pushing your fingers flat into the dough, leaving the edge intact. Flip the disk over and continue until you have a round disk about 8 inches in diameter.

To stretch the dough to your desired size, drape it over the backs of your hands and knuckles, fingers curled inward. Gently swirl the dough, stretching it little by little until it is about 12 inches in diameter.

Transfer the shaped dough to a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper (see note). Top as directed in recipe of your choice (see pages 000–000) and transfer pizza to preheated baking sheet or baking stone. Bake until crust is lightly charred around edges and toppings are set, 4 to 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough balls, allowing the oven and pizza stone or baking sheet to warm up for 10-15 minutes before baking the next pizza.

Serve immediately.

POINT: An oven stone will give your pizza a better crust, a better volume, and an incomparable lightness. If you don’t have one, an inverted baking sheet or unglazed quarry tiles will work as substitutes. For best results, preheat the stone or inverted baking sheet on the center rack for at least 45 minutes before baking your pizza. Recipe cooking times depend on your cooking surface and will be shorter if you use a stone.

Pizza Margarita

(Marguerite Pizza)

The most iconic pizza in the south features cow’s milk mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil.

Makes a 9 inch pizza

Dough for 1 pizza dough (page 000)

3½ ounces whole canned tomatoes

Sea salt

Pinch of dried oregano

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4½ ounces mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes, squeezed out excess water

5 fresh basil leaves

Shape the dough as indicated on page 000.

Place tomatoes in a medium bowl and blend with an immersion blender until reduced to a thick puree. Season with salt, oregano and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Pour the tomato sauce over the pizza dough to the edge of the raised rim, then spread the mozzarella evenly. Bake as directed on page 000.

Garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Pizza dell’Alto Casertano

(Pizza Alto Casertano)

Inspired by Franco Pepe’s dessert pizza at Pepe in Grani (see page 000), the toppings evoke the flavor of Franco’s native sub-region, Campania.

Makes a 9 inch pizza

Dough for 1 pizza dough

1½ tablespoons lard

¼ cup fig jam

½ cup finely grated Conciato Romano or Pecorino Romano

Freshly Ground Black

Shape dough as directed on page 000. Spread lard over pizza dough to edge of raised edge. Bake as directed on page 000.

Pour the fig jam over the melted lard, sprinkle with Conciato Romano and season with pepper.

Marinara Riviera di Attilio

(Pizza Marinara from Attilio)

At Pizzeria Attilio, a Naples pizzeria that opened in 1938, pizza maker Attilio Bachetti customizes the classic marinara pie by adding Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil leaves to the classic tomato and garlic fillings. ‘garlic.

Makes a 9 inch pizza

Dough for 1 pizza dough (page 000)

3½ ounces whole canned tomatoes

Sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ clove garlic, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons finely grated Pecorino Romano

2 teaspoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

5 fresh basil leaves

Shape the dough as indicated on page 000.

Place tomatoes in a medium bowl and blend with an immersion blender until reduced to a thick puree. Season with salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the tomato sauce over the pizza dough to the edge of the raised rim, then distribute the garlic evenly. Bake as directed on page 000.

Sprinkle the pizza with the Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano, garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Pizza con ‘Nduja and Fior di Latte

(Pizza ‘Nduja and Mozzarella)

Calabrian ingredients meet those of Campania on this tart topped with a spicy spreadable salami and mozzarella made with buffalo milk.

Makes a 9 inch pizza

Dough for 1 pizza dough (page 000)

2 ounces of canned whole tomatoes

Sea salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4½ ounces mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes, squeezed out excess water

3 ounces of nduja

5 fresh basil leaves

Place tomatoes in a medium bowl and blend with an immersion blender until broken down into a thick puree. Season with salt and olive oil. Pour the tomato sauce over the pizza dough to the edge of the raised rim, then evenly distribute the mozzarella and ‘nduja over the sauce. Bake as directed on page 000.

Garnish with the basil leaves.

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