Serious Eats: Recipes

Marc Vetri's Mortadella Pizza

[Photograph: Kelly Campbell]

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Rustic Italian Food to give away this week.

You have to love the fact that Marc Vetri included not one but two pizza dough recipes in Rustic Italian Food: a thinner Roman crust and a slightly thicker, puffier Neapolitan. This devotion to authentic, very Italian pizza is what makes these dough recipes invaluable for home pizza-making.

This Mortadella Pizza begins with the Napoletana dough, which in turn begins with a starter. Using a starter instead of just yeast adds a depth of flavor and contributes to the dough's wonderfully stretchy, pliant qualities.

Once you've got your dough ready to go, it's time to top it. The heftier Napoletana dough can stand up to weightier toppings but we chose to top ours with thin slices of pistachio-studded mortadella, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Slid into the oven and baked until puffy and charred, the pizza is finished with a drizzle of olive oil blended with pistachios. The key here is not to load up your pie—the flavors in play are delicate and you wouldn't want that great dough to get overwhelmed.

Why you should make this: The dough is really remarkable. It has a smoothness and workability that makes it a pleasure to stretch and even more pleasing to eat.

Next time we might think about: With dough this good, next time we're making a double batch and will freeze the other half to defrost whenever a pizza craving strikes.

Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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