Unless you’re already a convert to the wonderful world of anchovies, you may understandably be a bit apprehensive about this recipe. Anchovies have been the butt of many jokes over the years as the stereotypical “undesirable” pizza topping. However, high quality anchovies are miles ahead of the cheap tins of your childhood, and when placed on a simple marinara pie made with tomatoes picked at their height of ripeness, smothered in good olive oil, and showered with authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, they are umami bombs that will transport you to the coast of Naples.
- 1 cold fermented pizza dough (recipe)
- Approximately 3/4 cup of tomato sauce (recipe)
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 8 high quality anchovy filets
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- All-purpose flour for dusting work surfaces
- Baking steel or pizza stone
- Pizza peel
- Fine cheese grater or micro-plane
This recipe assumes you’ve already made your pizza dough. If not you’ll need to start that project 24 hours before making pizza in order for it to fully ferment, develop flavor, and have a fluffy airy crust when baked. Of course you can also use a store bought dough or even stop by your local pizza shop and ask to buy dough.
The sauce recipe called upon here is a simple one – tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt – but it’s best when those ingredients have some time to mingle. Mix the sauce before you begin anything else and let it sit while you heat the oven and prepare the dough.
Preheat your oven to 550 degrees or as hot as it will allow with your baking steel or pizza stone inside. I recommend doing this 30 to 45 minutes before you begin making the pizza to allow the steel or stone to fully come up to temperature.
On a floured work surface, stretch your dough to approximately 14″ round. Liberally flour your peel and move the dough onto the center. From here you’ll want to work quickly as leaving the dough on the peel for an extended period will cause it to stick. Spread approximately 3/4 cup of tomato sauce onto the dough and evenly scatter the sliced garlic over the top. Our other ingredients will go on when it comes out of the oven, so it’s time to bake.
Before you open the oven, give the peel a light shake to make sure the dough is moving freely. Starting towards the back of the steel or stone, slide the edge of the pizza on and shake the peel as you pull it towards you. The pizza should easily slide off. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the crust begins to brown. If it appears to be cooking unevenly, rotate it halfway through the cook time. It will be much easier to maneuver once it’s cooked slightly.
Using the peel, remove the pizza from the oven and slide it onto a large wooden cutting board or metal tray. Grate a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the top and arrange the 8 anchovy filets in a spoke pattern around the pie. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
Cut into 8 pieces so each slice has a single anchovy filet. Enjoy.