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Jan 9, 2010 12:47 AM

escarole pizza - typical and traditional regional Italian cuisine

This is a typical dish of Neapolitan cuisine, prepared for Christmas. Here is my family recipe:

Escarole Pizza

For the pizza dough:

•1/4 ounce package yeast
•1 1/2 cups warm water
•3 cups flour
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•Coarse salt
For the escarole

•2-3 head of escarole
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•3 cloves garlic
•10 black olives, pitted and sliced
•1 2-ounce can flat anchovies, chopped
•1/2 cup pine nuts
•1/2 cup raisins
•1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
•Freshly ground pepper
Make the pizza dough. Dissolve the yeast in one cup lukewarm water and let it stand for five minutes, or until it has begun to ferment. If the mixture does not ferment, throw it away and use another package of yeast.

- If using a food processor, fit the bowl with a steel blade and put in the flour, olive oil, salt, yeast mixture and remaining water into the bowl. Process until the dough forms a ball - about 20 seconds. Place the dough on a smooth surface and knead for a couple of minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky.

- If using the hand method, combine the flour and salt and place the mixture on a smooth working surface. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, olive oil and remaining water. Gradually work the flour into the liquid, using a wooded spoon. When the dough is too stiff to work with the spoon, knead until it is smooth and shiny, about eight to 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough gets too sticky.

Put the dough in a large floured mixing bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise for two hours in a warm place (the back of the stove, for example) until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the escarole topping. Wash the leaves and simmer them in boiling water for five minutes. Drain, squeeze out the water and chop the leaves coarsely. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently saute the garlic, olives, anchovies and pine nuts until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the escarole and cook uncovered stirring frequently for 10 minutes over moderate heat. Stir in the raisins and capers and season with pepper. Tilt pan to remove excess water. Let it cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200° C).
Punch down the dough, sprinkle it with flour. Cut off two third of dough and roll out the dough with a rolling pin directly onto the pan to covering bottom and sides . Spread escarole filling over crust in pan and if you want, sprinkle grated cheese and black ground pepper over the top. Roll out remaining dough into a round on a lightly floured board. Transfer to pan, covering filling. Press edges to seal. Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes.

Picture and recipe here:

Have a nice day :)

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  1. This sounds so good, I might just make it before next Christmas, thanks!

    1. cosmopolita, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your recipes. I want to try this, too. Thanks for sharing a taste of Italy!

      3 Replies
        1. re: cosmopolita

          I make a calzone barese that looks similar to your escarole pizza.
          The stuffing is made with very few ingredients ... sautéed scallions, thinly sliced black olives, thinly sliced green olives, filetto di pomodoro, grated pecorino romano cheese (optional), anchovies (optional), and ricotta forte (optional). Tastes great no matter what you include in the stuffing from this ingredient list. Your options are open.

          1. re: Cheese Boy

            The calzone has another form. It is obtained by folding the pasta round of the pizza in order to get a stuffed crescent.
            In Italy there are so many variations that we obtain using the pizza dough.