Pizza and Pepper Flakes: The Experts

Pizza and Pepper Flakes: The Experts

John Brescio, Owner of Lombardi’s, America’s "First Pizza" (New York City)

Do you know if pepper flakes were served at Lombardi's when it first opened, or when they started being offered there?
They have been around since the beginning. We have always used them. In the beginning they were crumbled in a stainless steel bowl. And then there was a changeover in the '50s to pepper flakes in the shakers.

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
No, I don't. I am a pizza purist. They take away from the pizza flavor and would make it harder, if not impossible, to taste the cheese and sauce. It actually became big in the '50s when flakes in the shaker became a blended, less expensive, milder option to the hand crushed version, during the early years of the pizza revolution in the United States. It gave a kick to an otherwise dull plain cheese pizza slice and was a standard on the counter of all pizza shops.

Read an interview with John Brescio, Red Pepper Flakes Served at Lombardi’s From the Start.

Dom DeMarco, Di Fara (Midwood, Brooklyn)

Do you use red pepper flakes?
I use it in soups and in some pastas made with a garlic and oil base. Red pepper flakes are a nice additive to pizza for those who acquire the taste for added spice. I do not use them on my own pizza.

You don’t offer them at Di Fara, right? You have marinated peppers instead. What's your reasoning and feeling about them and how they contribute to the experience of eating pizza?
The peppers on the counter are a delicious sliced pepper in olive oil. I will add those to pizza depending on my mood.

Read an interview with Dom DeMarco on Red Pepper Flakes: 'It Started in Italy'

John Mariani, Food and Drink Correspondent for Esquire

Do you use red pepper flakes and what's your reasoning and feeling about them and how they contribute to the experience of eating pizza?
I tend to use them only if the pizza or the pasta dish is a little bland to my taste. The flakes are commonly used on spaghetti con vongole, but I prefer to steep dried whole chiles in the garlic and oil then to add the flakes later.

Do you have any feelings about people who do or don't use them?

Nah, to each his own.

Read a full interview with John Mariani On Pepper Flakes and Pizza.

Nick Azzaro, Owner Papa's Tomato Pies (Trenton, N.J.)

Who did using red pepper flakes start with?
It’s a hard question, I mean, why people use it. They don’t use really hot stuff in Italy. Spain does, but Italians don’t really use that much hot stuff. I don’t really use the red pepper flakes. I have them on the tables, and I have to refill them, but I can’t really answer the question "How come?" I don’t think there is a solid answer.

Do you use pepper flakes and what's your feeling about them and how they contribute to the pizza experience?
Me? No I don’t like hot stuff at all! But like I said, I send people out to the tables with their pizza and some of them use it like it was sugar in their coffee and some people never do it. It’s like vanilla ice cream. Some people like chocolate, some people like vanilla. I like vanilla and I wouldn’t eat any other flavor.

Read an interview with Nick Azzaro, Pepper Flakes at Papa’s of Trenton: You Can’t Even See the Pie Sometimes.

Antonio Pace, Founder and President of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
I don't like to put red pepper flakes on my pizza.

In New York City, it seems as though pepper flakes have become synonymous with the experience of eating a slice. Any comment on this tradition?
As with many other culinary traditions in America, this is a corruption of the culinary traditions imported by the first Italians who emigrated there. But it now seems as though when it comes to pizza in the United States, times are changing. These corrupted culinary traditions are being corrected, and people have started to follow the true tradition of making Neapolitan pizza.

Read an interview with Antonio Pace: Real Italians Don’t Use Red Pepper Flakes.

Scott Wiener, Scott's Pizza Tours (New York City)

Do you use flakes on your pizza?
I only really use pepper flakes on pizza with low-moisture mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella is too soft a flavor so I wouldn't want anything to get in its way.

How do flakes add to the pizza experience?
Since a slice of pizza is essentially the perfect food of independence — the first food you ever bought with your own money without your parents on a Saturday afternoon — it's only right that one should have the ability to modify it to personal perfection.

Which is a truer experience when it comes to eating a slice in New York City, with or without?
Pepper flakes are entirely up to the user, but it's extremely "New York" to add some form of "topper" (I call shaker goods "toppers" as opposed to "toppings" like pepperoni and mushrooms) because New Yorkers, with their strong opinions, often think they could improve on anything.

Read an interview with Scott Wiener, Pepper Flakes: Spice As Independence.

Professor Carol Helstosky, Author of Pizza: A Global History

Do you have any insight into where the tradition of the use of red pepper flakes with pizza originated?
I recall in researching pizza history in Naples that there were numerous reports of Neapolitans eating hot peppers (so, dried flakes, whole raw peppers, etc.) to flavor pasta and pizza. The information was recorded by foreign visitors as well as Italians like Matilde Serao, who traveled to Naples to observe the customs there. This would go along with Neapolitans flavoring rather plain (crust and chopped tomatoes) pizza with anchovies and assorted herbs and whatever else they could get their hands on.

Flakes or no flakes?
I do really like red pepper flakes on pizza with cheese. I sometimes like it on pizza with olives, but I do not usually put red pepper flakes on any other kind of pizza with toppings! I really love the way red pepper flakes taste on New York style pizza slices.

Read an interview with Professor Helstosky: Crushed Red Pepper Flakes on Pizza: A Neapolitan Tradition.

Jim Lahey, Co. (New York City)

Arthur Bovino

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza and what do you think about people who don’t?
I love spicy food. I love chiles. I believe they awaken the palate and are a great contrast between sweet and salty. The addition of this spice provides a beautiful contrast to dishes. Those who have dietary issues with chiles should certainly avoid them. And I use chile flakes where I feel they’ll enhance flavor in a dish.

Ken Martin, Co-Owner of Colony Grill (Fairfield, Conn.)

Do you offer red pepper flakes? Do you think theres a truer pizza experience, using them or not using them?
We do have shakers. Personally, I am a hot oil guy, and I would think my partners are too, though, you'd have to ask them. We offer pepper flakes on the tables but do not cook with them. We feel customers can decide what they enjoy. We don't judge on spice!

John Arena, Pizza historian, Co-Founder of Metro Pizza (Las Vegas)

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
Yes, I do use red pepper on pizza, particularly pizza with seafood. I am also not adverse to pairing cheese with seafood, a common taboo that is observed in Naples but ignored in other parts of Italy. Bring on the heat!

Read an interview with John Arena: Tracking Italian-American Culinary Traditions to the Old Country.

Peter Reinhart, Baking Instructor at Johnson & Wales University, Author of American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
Always, since childhood! And I totally agree about cheese and seafood. Whoever came up with that taboo? It's another example of how so-called "rules" can often get in the way. Thats one of my friend and pizza expert John Arenas favorite rants, as well as mine, by the way. The only rule I believe in is "the flavor rule," which is: Flavor rules!

Jonathan Goldsmith, Spacca Napoli (Chicago)

Do you use red pepper flakes and what's your feeling about them and how they contribute to the experience of eating pizza?
We have pizzas that have red pepper flakes (pepperoncino) as part of their "toppings."

Do you offer red pepper flakes at Spacca Napoli?
I do not place red pepper flakes on the table, nor oregano, nor olive oil infused with red pepper flakes. I am somewhat bothered when I hear my waitstaff offer these items before they are requested. I have spent many years doing my research and training with regard to Neapolitan pizza and pizze from other regions of Italy. It is my wish that these pizzas are presented as I have found them on menus or in pizzerias during my travels, or have been lovingly shared with me by someone Italian. That being said, there is a saying in Latin that must not be disregarded: "De gustibus non dispandium est."

Read an interview with Jonathan Goldsmith, Waiters Shouldn’t Serve Red Pepper Flakes Before They're Asked.

Dave Mixon, Director of Quality for U.S. Consumer Products Division for McCormick


So not only are pepper flakes not just from one pepper, but they usually contain more than one kind?
Generally, it’s a blend of three or four peppers in the range of 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It could be any number of peppers depending on the availability of the peppers and their heat level — availability from an agricultural standpoint. We get a lot of peppers from India, China, and the United States. So in terms of the blend, it’s kind of like wherever we’re getting the peppers from, their availability, and their heat level. If we can source from India, where they have multiple varieties, they can do the blending where the raw materials are processed.

Read an interview with Dave Mixon, What Are Crushed Red Pepper Flakes?

Johanne Killeen and George Germon, Al Forno (Providence, R.I.)

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
We love spicy food and offer red pepper flakes at Al Forno and our newer restaurant TINI. Many of our customers request the flakes with their pizza or pasta. In Italy, you are more apt to see ground red pepper (pepperoncino) or spicy pepper oil.

Jeff Michaud, Osteria (Philadelphia)

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza?
I do use red chile flakes for my own pizza.But when making pizza for others I like to use flakes depending on which ingredients I put on the pizza.We have an octopus pizza with smoked mozzarella and chile flakes.I feel the spice goes nicely with the smokiness of the cheese and the crispiness and ocean flavor of the octopus. It all depends on the combination of ingredients. Chile flakes go so well with seafood so I put them on every time.

Which is a truer experience? Using them or not? And what do you think of people who dont?
A true experience is when the flavors meld together and one is no more prominent than the other. As far as having feelings about people who dont use them, its all a matter of opinion and taste.A good chef knows how to use them properly.

Michele Iuliano, Luzzo (New York City)

Do you use red pepper flakes and what's your reasoning and feeling about them and how they contribute to the experience of eating pizza?
Occasionally I do use pepperoncini on my pizza. In fact, at Luzzo’s we make red pepper-infused olive oil. It’s frequently requested by our clients. Pepperoncino adds a bit of a kick that tends to initially shock the palate — especially when used in excess. Some people love the heat.

Read an interview with Michele Iuzzo, Pizza and Pepper Flakes: 'Only Natural'

Spike Mendelsohn, We, The Pizza (Washington, D.C.)

Arthur Bovino

Do you use red pepper flakes on your pizza and what do you think about people who dont?
Yes, I use them in many different cuisines. When it comes to pizza, I just sprinkle them on top. They're widely popular and if you enjoyed spicy foods growing up, you always seem to go back to using them. I do believe in toasting them a bit to strengthen the power. People who dont use chile flakes are really just flakes when it comes to eating pizza.

Ultimate Veggie Pizza

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all of the elements I’ve enjoyed over the years to create my own “ultimate” veggie pizza recipe. This is the best homemade veggie pizza I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll say the same!

This vegetarian pizza recipe will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s fresh and full of flavor, featuring cherry tomatoes, artichoke, bell pepper, olives, red onion and some hidden (and optional) baby spinach. You’ll find a base of rich tomato sauce and golden, bubbling mozzarella underneath, of course.

The trick with loaded veggie pizzas, as many pizza shops seem to forget, is that they require a few extra minutes in the oven to develop full flavor and structure. Don’t stop baking until the cheese is deeply golden in spots. Otherwise, you might end up with floppy pizza that doesn’t live up to its true potential.

Start with my easy whole wheat pizza dough, and this recipe is ready in about 45 minutes, start to finish. This vegetable pizza is quicker and healthier than delivery!

Watch How to Make Veggie Pizza

Spicy Pizza Margherita

To give the classic Margherita pizza a spicy kick, we season the tomato sauce with red pepper flakes and a touch of cayenne. You’ll have some sauce left over store in the refrigerator and make more pizzas later in the week. Or, for an easy dinner, reheat the sauce, toss with your favorite pasta, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and chopped fresh basil.

Spicy Pizza Margherita


For the spicy tomato sauce:

  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 2 oz. (60 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/4 oz./7 g) fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped Calabrian chiles (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

1. Place a pizza stone in the lower third of an oven and preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. To make the spicy tomato sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, cayenne and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. This recipe makes about 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) sauce you will need 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) sauce for the pizza. Refrigerate the rest for another use it will keep for up to 5 days.

3. Shape the pizza dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-by-16-inch (30-by-40-cm) oval. Spread 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the spicy tomato sauce evenly on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border uncovered. Top with the mozzarella. Season with salt and black pepper.

4. Using a pizza peel or a rimless baking sheet, transfer the pizza to the preheated stone. Bake until the crust is crisp and well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, top with the basil and the Calabrian chiles. Drizzle with olive oil, cut into slices and serve immediately. Makes one 12-by-16-inch (30-by-40-cm) pizza.

Roll out pizza dough: Personally, I like to use my hands to stretch the pizza dough out into a circle instead of using a rolling pin, but either way works. Make sure to flour the dough so your hands don't stick to it, then stretch it to be as big as your pizza stone. Note: If you have a pizza stone, use a pizza stone. If you don't, you can use an oven-proof skillet, which is what I did (pictured in the photos).

Add the toppings: Use a spoon to spread the marinara sauce over the dough, then sprinkle with garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Last, add the vegan mozzarella cheese.

Brush crust with olive oil: Before baking, I use a silicone brush to brush olive oil over the crust, which gives it a little more flavor and allows it to cook more quickly.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 medium bell peppers, cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 log (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 teaspoon juice
  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, divided into 4 pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup arugula
  • Red-pepper flakes, for serving

Heat grill to medium-high. Toss peppers and onion with 1 tablespoon oil grill, flipping once, 7 to 10 minutes. Combine goat cheese, Parmesan, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons oil.

Generously brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Stretch one piece of dough into an 8-inch oval on sheet. Brush top with oil season with salt. Brush grates with oil. Grill pizza, top-side down, until bubbles form, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip dollop with a quarter of cheese mixture, peppers, and onion. Grill, moving occasionally with tongs, until cheese melts and bottom is crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Toss arugula with lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon oil season with salt and pepper. Top pizzas with arugula and sprinkle with red-pepper flakes serve.

Deep dish pizza and some other stuff!

happy pizza friday everyone! i've been glued in my kitchen, testing up a storm (and secretly binge watching unreal and wet hot american summer) all week that it wasn't until eggpop relayed through eggboy that he was sick of reading about carrot cake that i realized i needed to deliver some pizza to you in time to make it for pizza friday. (actually in most time zones you don't have time but there is always saturday and rule #56 of friday pizza night is that if you forget to have it on a friday, you can defo have it on a saturday.)

first some updates from the test kitchen this week:

-wow, my bagel shaping truly sucks! i had my first try at bagel making that was unsupervised by a bagel teacher and they didn’t rise and looked like what i imagine amoebas look like. they tasted like very thick dumpling wrappers though, which i obviously wasn’t mad about, so even though they were a failure they were still tasty. I have a hunch that the reason they didn’t rise was because we turned on our air conditioning this week and I also got impatient when we were late for a party. This is the recipe that I used and it’s the one that bagel teacher dave loves, so I plan to try it again soon with more patience and less a/c.

-we made lox for our bagels because we received some of the season’s first salmon from alaska (thanks copper river)! i went with a pretty basic cure of salt, brown sugar, and pepper. I don’t think I used enough of it though because it just wasn’t salty enough, or maybe I should add more flavorings. There’s a very citrusy lox recipe in the Huckleberry book that I’d like to try. I’m going to Alaska next month to catch some fishies, so I’ll try it then.

-I’m working on butter cakes. I made approximately one thousand of them over #MDW (this hashtag caught me by surprise) along with a spreadsheet of all of the vanilla butter cake measurements that I could find. My goal is to make a very reliably moist* butter cake, one that’s as reliably moist as oil cakes. And after a conversation with Alana today who swore up and down that she’s never had a dry butter cake, I realized that maybe my moisture tolerance is on the high end, or rather my dryness tolerance is low end, (or that I'm getting the vocabulary wrong altogether and that what I actually want is a soft cake). Dry cakes are right up there with under salted food and death as my greatest fears. So right now I’m working on a part butter, part oil cake, and I’ve made some great ones but they collapse just slightly when they come out of the oven, which can mean that there’s too much liquid. So little by little (when some more birthdays come up, that is. Do you live in Grand Forks and have a birthday coming up? Please email [email protected]) I’ll decrease the liquid in the recipe until it doesn’t collapse and then see if it’s just as moist.

-Because bagels and lox weren’t enough multi-day recipes to test in one week (well, because i procrastinated last week), short ribs also appeared on the schedule this week. Oh hell yeah! I spent six days making rhubarb short ribs to the sound of wet hot american summer, and I have a great feeling about this recipe. Very excited. Jazz hands. Confetti emoji. Makes up for the bagel failure. Luckily you can freeze braised meats pretty easily so we did not explode.

unglued camp registration opens on monday. and i'm going to be the lunch lady again!! i cannot wait. camp director ashley did a hilarious job with the f.a.q.s so go read them even if you don’t plan to register (but ummm you should plan to register because we’re going to eat hotdish and make cake and dance in banana costumes). thanks zach for these camp photos from last year!

in the battle of chicago pizza versus new york pizza, i would have a really hard time choosing sides. i would probably cheer from the new york side of the stadium for the first half and then switch jerseys and cheer from the chicago side for the second half, although i’d probably get kicked out of the new york side before halftime anyway since my chicago accent is so strong. the only true difference between my love for the two types is that i could probably eat new york pizza every single day for six meals a day while my capacity for chicago pizza tops out at once, maybe twice, a month. i think of new york pizza more of like an open faced grilled cheese (that then becomes close faced when you do the right thing and fold it in half) and chicago pizza as a thick buttery pie that is weird not to eat with a fork and knife. it’s the perfect special occasion food when your special occasion falls on a friday, and no amount of meditating can produce the patience required for people who say that chicago pizza “isn’t really pizza.” you people, delete your account.

my mom sent us four lou malnati’s pizzas over the holidays which was one of the best gifts ever in the whole wide world, and we were just starting to run low when shelly’s book, vegetarian heartland, showed up at our door. i had carrot cake batter all over my hands so i intended to just to do a quick flip-through before transferring it to my coffee table, where i keep all of my new cookbooks that i need to go through, but then i couldn’t stop and my quick flip-through turned into a very long combing through with post-its and lists and a sudden desire to start a cookbook club just so that i could try a lot of these recipes at once. the recipes are so original and midwesty, i’m in love. when i got to the page with the chicago deep dish pizza i immediately changed around my schedule so i could make it that friday.

i’ve always considered chicago pizza to be like bagels in that they’re one of those things that are best left up to the experts, like lou and gino. and since i tend to get back to chicago at least a few times a year, i’ve been ok with that. but after having some bagel success (and before this week's bagel failure), i was feeling kind of encouraged so i gave it a try and i was really happy that i did because shelly’s pizza is the bee’s knees bomb dot com. The crust is bready and soft, different than the crispy flaky lou mal’s crust but so so good and buttery and not too difficult to make. I loaded ours up with thinly sliced peppers and onions and a bit of spinach for health, and then instead of baking the second one we froze it for a rainy day. I can't wait for that day.


What are the ingredients for the pizza sauce? How much tomatoes? Onions? peppers?
I would not recommend adding the Parmesan cheese to the sauce. I would put it on as you make the pizzas.

Why are you adding the honey?

Hi Karen,
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this product. Industry can do processes that the home canner cannot.
None of the standardized recipes for home canning have this recipe.
The low acidity of the Parmesan cheese (5.1-5.4 pH) prevents the product from being canned. We do not have processing times for Parmesan cheese in recipes.
In addition the herbs (vegetative material) also dilutes the pH of the tomato product you are using.

My recommendation is to buy the pizza sauce and make little gift boxes with all of the ingredients.
Another suggestion is to make your product and freeze the pizza sauce. I would not recommend putting the herbs in because some herbs will intensify in flavor when they are frozen. Instead make a packet of the herbs to be given with the pizza sauce.
Most pizzerias I am familiar with put the sauce down, then the herbs, then the Parmesan cheese. Sometimes the herbs are sprinkled on top before the final layer of cheese.
I am still not clear why you want to put honey in the product unless it is to have a sweet pizza sauce. In canning, honey cannot be substituted equally for sugar due to its high moisture content.
Chris Venema

Spicy Kalamata Olive, Anchovy and Caper Pizza

All the ingredients of a classic puttanesca sauce come together in this intensely flavorful and slightly spicy pizza. Be careful when seasoning this pizza, as many of the toppings are salty. The recipes for the dough and tomato sauce make twice as much as you will need for this recipe, so double the quantity of fillings and make two if you like, or save the remaining dough to make pizza later in the week.

Spicy Kalamata Olive, Anchovy and Caper Pizza


For the dough:

3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour

1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed

2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed

For the tomato sauce:

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil

1 can (15 oz./470 g) crushed tomatoes

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

3 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) brined capers, drained

5 fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)

1. To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Process the dough again for 25 for 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce: In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to let it scorch or the garlic will taste bitter.

4. In a bowl, stir together the garlic-oil mixture, tomatoes, dried basil, oregano, thyme, pepper, 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) water and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and additional vinegar. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

5. Place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Once the oven has reached 450°F (230°C), let the stone continue to heat for 15 to 30 minutes longer, without opening the door.

6. Warm the olive oil in a small frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté just until the garlic begins to soften but not brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl. Pour in the tomato sauce and stir to mix well. Set aside.

7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are using only one ball of dough, place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)

8. On a floured pizza peel, stretch or roll out one of the balls of pizza dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) oval, with even thickness across the oval. If the dough springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing. Leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border, spread the sauce over the dough and top with the cheese. Distribute the olives, capers, and anchovies evenly around the pizza. Brush the outside edge of the dough with olive oil.

9. Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes, then scatter the basil over the top, if using, slice, and serve. Serves 4.

For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pizza Night , by Kate McMillan

Watch the video: Παράσταση διαμαρτυρίας κατά την επίσκεψη του Πρωθυπουργού, Κ. Μητσοτάκη, στο ΠΑΓΝΗ (October 2021).