Did you know there’s such a thing as spreadable sausage? The Italian specialty, available in ethnic markets or online, is actually a spicy salami made into the consistency of butter. Originating from the Calabria region of Italy, it’s used to top bread or crackers or to add flavor to soups and sauces. ‘Nduja also makes an excellent pizza topping with no chopping required.
We’ve included a pizza dough recipe that’s slightly different from what you might be used to. Instead of all-purpose flour, it has 00 flour – a finely milled flour that’s the favorite of serious pizza makers. It imparts a silky texture to the dough and produces a crispy curst. Plus, there’s a bit of semolina flour to add some body since dough made 00 flour can be soft and hard to handle.
Can you use a pre-made pizza shell or use your own dough recipe? Of course, you can. But give this dough a try. You may never go back…
- 3 g about ¾ teaspoon of active (not instant) yeast
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 100 g semolina flour
- 400 g type 00 Flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 g tomato sauce
- 100 g ‘Nduja
- 150 g mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded
- In a small bowl, add the yeast with a little bit of the sugar to the water and stir. The yeast should begin to bubble.
- Mix the flours, salt and the remainder of the sugar in a large bowl. Create a “well” and pour the yeast mixture in the center.
- Use your hands to mix together, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic – about 5 minutes. (If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour to your kneading surface.)
- Place in a bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has risen, punch down and divide into 2 equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball, cover and leave to rise until double in size (3-4 hours). Do not over-proof! If you’re not ready to make the pizza, place the dough in the refrigerator to slow things down. When ready, give the dough about an hour outside the fridge to reach room temperature
- Preheat oven to 500 F.
- Roll each piece of dough out on a floured surface until thin – about 1/8 thick.
- Spoon the tomato sauce on top of the dough, top with mozzarella then finish with dollops of ‘Nduja.
- Transfer the pizza to a pizza stone or cookie sheet then place in the oven (middle rack) and cook for 5-7 minutes until top is bubbly and crust is cooked to your liking.
Notes & Tips
- You can make the dough a day ahead and store in the refrigerator. After the first proof/the dough is rolled into balls, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Or, wrap and freeze. Either way, let the dough come to room temperature before using.
- It’s important to preheat the oven to avoid a tough crust. Some pizza aficionados recommend waiting over an hour before cooking pizza in a pre-heated conventional home oven but 15 minutes is a good compromise.
- If you don’t have ‘Nduja handy, you can marinate any salami (slice first) in crushed Calabrian chili peppers overnight. Pat try before using.
- Another option if you don’t have ‘Nduja is to quickly chop or blend any cured meat with chili peppers or chili paste so you can spread it like ‘Nduja spreadable sausage. ‘Nduja or not you’ll have a very flavorful pizza.