Twenty-two years ago, my wife and I went to Italy for our honeymoon. For the first time I visited my family in a tiny town in the mountains near Lucca (called Gombitelli.) I had an overwhelming feeling going there. It was like stepping into my grandpa’s farm in California. In front of me was his backyard in every detail: the same flowers, the lemon tree, the fava beans, the big wine jugs wrapped in straw, the rusty tools scattered around. My cousins decided there was one thing they had to serve us for our welcome meal: pizza, of course. It was a thin and crispy puttanesca style combination of crushed tomatoes, brined black cured olives, garlic and anchovies. Enjoy.
TONY GEMIGNANI is one of America’s most influential pizza makers. Instagram: @capopizza Photo: Tony Gemignani
1 9–13-ounce dough ball 2 parts flour mixed with 1 part semolina for dusting 10 brine black cured olives, pitted and broken into pieces 3 brown oil cured anchovies, cut into pieces 2-3 whole peeled quality canned tomatoes ¼ teaspoon minced garlic Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling 6 ounces whole milk mozzarella 1 fresh basil leaf, chiffonade Dried oregano for dusting
Dust the dough. Shape and stretch using a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into 14-15 inches in diameter. Using a pizza wheel, trim the dough to a 12-13-inch round. You can use a pizza screen as a template. Dock the dough. Next, add mozzarella and place the pizza into the oven. Cook until it is 80 percent complete. Remove the pizza from the oven and add the crushed tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and olives. Place pizza back into the oven and finish the bake. Remove when finished baking and cut into desired slices. Finish with basil, a dusting of oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.