Roman Style Thin Crust and Pizza al Taglio Recipes
Roma is home to some of the best pizza in the world and in constant competition with Napoli for bragging rights. While Napoli is known for their pizza margherita, Rome has two distinct pizza styles; thin crust and “pizza al taglio“, which translates in English to pizza by the slice. The thin crust is the classic Roman pizza and the origin of where thin crust came from (ya’ hear that New York?!?!?) while the pizza al taglio, now common everywhere in Italy, originated in Rome and is baked in long cooking sheets and sliced in rectangles – for those on the go. The pizza al taglio I’ve enjoyed immensely since day one as a little boy and you can find all different types, like the Pizza Bianca (white pizza), Pizza Rossa (red sauce) and many more but with a variety of toppings including asparagus, pancetta, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, prosciutto, artichoke, onions, capers, arugula, olives, etc…(not altogether mind you). You name it – they have it! Some places fold the slice over like a sandwich and I still remember the day when I first sank my teeth into a pizza al taglio and how it felt like the Coliseum crowd was roaring with approval! I still have not had a slice of pizza as good since I was that little boy and in all honesty, I can’t remember if it was at the Campo di Fiore, the Spanish Steps, or Trastevere (so maybe I don’t really remember the day?). But I will not rest until I find it, or until I make it!
Today, I’m sharing my take on Roman style thin and al taglio pizza recipes that my mother made growing up, and still makes today (go mom!). The thin crust features pancetta (a favorite of the capital) and porcini mushrooms, while the pizza al taglio flourishes with zucchini, prosciutto cotto, and cherry tomatoes. It’s important to keep in mind that with a thin crust (and we’re talkin’ almost cracker thin), thin toppings are essential – less is more my friends, less is more – especially if you plan on adding this mortadella! I begin making a Roman style thin crust pizza by poking the dough in a circular motion with plenty of flour then stretching and using a dough roller for several minutes until it is so thin the dough starts to think it’s anorexic (ok, maybe that wasn’t PC but you know what I’m trying to say). I buy my dough at a local market because it’s fresh and doesn’t include any unhealthy oils or ingredients but feel free to make your own homemade dough if you have the time (showoff!). Dress your pizza stone very lightly with olive oil and lay the dough down (now I don’t own a brick oven but wood fires are the true Roman way for a thin crust so don’t be afraid to try this on your grill). From there add your sauce but not too much, remember it’s a thin crust so you don’t want to overload, then add chopped fresh mozzarella, very thin slices of pancetta and topped off with chopped porcini mushrooms. One interesting thing about Roman thin crust pizza is that it’s usually cooked at a very high heat and for a shorter time, which makes sense with the thinner crust.
For the Roman pizza al taglio we want the dough to be thicker and the biggest difference between the two pizzas (beyond the crust) is that the pizza al taglio is baked in a long cooking sheet or pan rather than a pizza stone and in a gas or electric oven rather than a wood-fire brick oven. I’m adding sliced fresh mozzarella rather than chopped and very thin slices of zucchini, thin sliced prosciutto cotto, and cherry tomatoes slit in half. I’m not adding the prosciutto cotto until a few minutes before removing the pizza from the oven so we don’t burn the ham. Remember, we’re trying to keep it classy here at Paggi Pazzo.
Most pizza recipes from the Eternal City do not feature heavy meats or toppings like you would find here in the States (i.e. meatballs, pepperoni, etc…). But vegetables, cheeses, prosciutto, or pancetta are very common, so feel free to experiment. I was also able to make both pizzas with only one 16 ounce dough, with the majority being used for the pizza al taglio proving you don’t need much my friends. So there you have it, Roman style pizza from Paggi Pazzo and unofficially, Gladiator approved!
Roman Style Pizza Recipes
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 55 min
Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Yield: 16 slices
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- 16 ounce fresh dough
- Handful of flour
- 4 tablespoons Moretti Semolina flour</span
- 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
- 6 thin slices pancetta
- 1/4 cup porcini mushrooms
- 4 thin slices prosciutto cotto
- 1 small zucchini
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- In order to make the sauce, add oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and 2 chopped basil leaves for 3 minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper
- Let cook for 30 minutes at low heat
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees for authentic Roman thin crust pizza
- While sauce is slowly cooking, add flour to top and bottom of dough and then cut 1/3 of dough (click here for homemade dough recipe)
- Take 1/3 of dough and begin to poke and stretch dough slowly to flatten out, then use dough roller on both sides repeatedly to get extremely thin
- Add very light amount of olive oil dressed on stone followed by one ounce of semolina flour spread across
- Add dough onto pizza stone and dress very lightly with 1/3 of tomato sauce (10-12 ounces) and 1 finely chopped basil leaf
- Add 3 ounces of chopped fresh mozzarella (not sliced) on top of sauce, then thin sliced pancetta and chopped porcini mushrooms
- Put thin crust pizza into oven and cook for 10-12 minutes (pizza will cook fast so keep an eye on it :-))
- Flour and roll remaining dough for pizza al taglio but not nearly as thin, and place into rectangular cooking sheet pan already with 3 tablespoons of Moretti semolina flour spread throughout
- Add remaining sauce to dough with 1 finely chopped basil leaf and remaining fresh mozzarella (sliced)
- Finely slice zucchini and place on 1/2 of pizza, on the other half cut cherry tomatoes in half and place on the other 1/2 of pizza
- Once thin crust pizza is finished cooking slice into 6 pieces and devour – then lower oven heat to 450 degrees, and cook pizza al taglio for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes, add prosciutto cotto slices to pizza and let cook for another 5 minutes
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes then cut slices and serve
Roman Style Pizza Recipes stars based on 13 ratings and 3 reviews.