By Janelle Davis, CNN. Recipe by Adriano and Alfredo Lazzeri, Il Cavaliere restaurant
Most people think of pan pizza and American mega pizza chains, but a family-run Italian pizzeria has been making this classic for over 60 years.
When Adriano Lazzeri’s father opened up Restaurant Il Cavaliere in 1958, pizza al padellino (meaning “pizza in a small pan”) was a brand new concept. The restaurant in Turin, Italy, catered to factory workers, who went wild over it.
The base is a traditional Tuscan crust, inspired by the region where Lazzeri’s father grew up.
“The pan pizza has a very long rise, in fact the dough is already prepared in the morning, it is spread in the pan and with the tomato sauce, it is left to levitate for many hours. This is how, once cooked in the old wood-fired oven, a crispy, digestible and very tasty pizza remains,” explains the restaurant’s website.
Each pan pizza is a small personal pizza. Each customer can load it with their own custom toppings. When Tucci visited the restaurant while filming the second season of “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italyhe chose sausage as a garnish. He also added anchovies, following Chef Lazzeri’s recommendation.
“Usually I like very thin pizzas, but this one is delicious, very creamy,” Tucci said after trying the dish.
Pizza al Padellino (cast iron pizza)
Also known as Pizza al Tegamino
Look for Pizza Flour 00, Manitoba Flour 0, and Type 1 Flour in online bakeries or Italian specialty stores.
Makes 10 servings
600 grams | 5 cups 00 pizza flour, plus more for the surface
300 grams | 2 1/2 cups Manitoba flour 0
100 grams | 1 cup type 1 flour
30 grams | 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
1/2 liter | 2 cups lukewarm water
8 grams | 2.8 teaspoons of brewer’s yeast
100 milliliters | 3.4 ounces extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
700 grams | 3 cups tomato puree or peeled tomatoes (70 grams | 1/3 cup per serving)
800 grams | 2 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella (well drained) (80 grams | 1/4 cup per serving)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Sea salt to taste
Artichokes, anchovies, olives, salami, ham, cherry tomatoes, onions, sausage
8 inch (20 centimeter) cast iron (padellino) or aluminum (tegamino) skillet
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit). Start by gradually adding the 3 types of flour to a bowl, mixing a little at a time. Combine all the flours, then transfer half of the flour mixture to a separate bowl. Next, add the salt to 375 milliliters (1 1/2 cups) of warm water and stir to dissolve in a large bowl. In another bowl, dissolve the yeast in the remaining 125 milliliters (1/2 cup) of warm water. Keep bowls separate.
2. Add the salted water to the first bowl of flour. Then add the oil and dissolved yeast to the same bowl.
3. Slowly add the rest of the mixed flour from the other bowl and knead until smooth and soft, 15 to 20 minutes. When the dough does not stick to your hands, the dough is ready. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface by rolling it out with your hands. Stretch a piece of dough and fold it in the middle, take another edge of the same dough and fold it in the middle. Continue in the same way until the bread is smooth and compact, about 10 minutes.
4. Option 1: Once the dough is finished, grease the mold well with extra virgin olive oil, both on the bottom and on the edges. Add 160 to 200 grams (3/4 to 1 cup) of batter. Season with tomato sauce: Add 70 grams (1/3 cup) of tomato purée, 80 grams (1/4 cup) of mozzarella and season to taste with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Leave the dough to rest for 6-8 hours (in winter it can take 8-10 hours) in a dry place away from drafts. Do not let the dough be exposed to the air, so that it does not dry out.
5. Option 2: Alternatively, knead dough until smooth and soft, 15-20 minutes (depending on outside temperature). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 6 to 8 hours. Once the bread has risen and doubled in volume, grease the mold well with extra virgin olive oil, both on the bottom and on the edges. Divide the loaf into 160 to 200 grams (3/4 to 1 cup) of dough and place the loaf in the small pan and stretch it out with your hands until it covers the entire surface of the pan. Season with tomato sauce: Add 70 grams (1/3 cup) of tomato purée, 80 grams (1/4 cup) of mozzarella and season to taste with extra virgin olive oil and salt.
6. Add toppings of your choice.
7. Place the dish on the middle rack of the oven and bake the pizza al padellino until the dough is crispy and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve while still hot.
This recipe is courtesy of Adriano and Alfredo Lazzeri of Restaurant Il Cavaliere in Turin, Italy.
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