Nadria and I make homemade pizza quite a bit. Our go-to dough is Cooking Light‘s Basic Pizza Dough, made with half whole-wheat and half white flour. It’s simple, easy, and versatile: You can use literally anything you want for sauce or toppings. We’ve done everything from leftover chicken and onions with barbecue sauce and cheddar to pesto and fried salami with no cheese at all.
But last night we felt like something different, and found this Sicilian Pizza from Serious Eats. It comes from what looks to be an authentic Italian cookbook (anyone have a copy?), so I guess this recipe is the real deal.
Prior to this, all I knew of Sicilian pizza is the Pizza Hut version, which is to say pizza, only it’s rectangular. That’s honestly not too far off: A real Sicilian pizza does indeed have four corners, though no mozzarella or tomato sauce.
This recipe was pretty delicious, but took a lot time—about 3 hours. The long rise (I punched it down halfway through) makes the crust nice and chewy, with a puffy texture. We made the dough and started the sauce almost immediately, and the timing worked out pretty well.
The sauce is a conza, a mixture of tomato, onion, and garlic, cooked covered over low heat until everything kinda falls apart. That takes a good two or two and a half hours—no shortcuts! The recipe has you add whole garlic cloves and fish them out at the end. I didn’t have to, as the garlic fell apart too. I used two large onions and three medium regular tomatoes, and took the lid off for the last 20 minutes or so to boil off some liquid and thicken the sauce. You want it a little loose, but not watery. The conza comes out really sweet—they’re not kidding about it tasting like you added sugar even though you didn’t.
For cheese, the recipe calls for pecorino or caciocavallo. We bought mozzarella in preparation for making pizza before we found this recipe, so that’s what we used. I think the extra saltiness of the proper cheese would go a long way to balance the sweet sauce.
The best part of this pizza is the anchovies. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of the widely reviled preserved fish. Their intense salty-savoriness combines the best elements of bacon and really funky cheese. The recipe calls for half a tin; like Caroline from Serious Eats, I used the whole thing. Chop fine and spread over the whole dough so every bite has fishy deliciousness. And then buy some more anchovies and use them in Caesar dressing, pasta, or anywhere you’d use Worcestershire or fish sauce.