On our last trip to Italy, my wife and I went on a quest for the perfect potato rosemary pizza. We had enjoyed this local cuisine at the many small bakeries in the towns and cities of Tuscany. After trying a few variations, we decided on procuring the recipe from a small shop in the town of Pisa, where pizza was invented and named after. Pisa Pie. As in “I would like a Pisa Pie to go, prego”.(please)
I engaged the cashier/chef with casual conversation and discovered to our good fortune that she was new on the job, and was referring to a vintage hand written recipe while making the potato pizza. As a distraction, I had my wife start a small fire in trash can in the far corner of the shop. Right on cue, the chef looked away and I snatched the recipe and ran for the door. My wife was detained for a while until they finally believed she had mistaken the trash can for a ashtray, after all, even the stray cats in Italy are avid smokers. After the initial shock that I had married an arsonist subsided, and with recipe in hand, I knew we had the means to replicate the savory pizza pie!
When we arrived back to our hotel, I used a complementary community computer and decoded the ancient Italian words only to discover it was not so ancient and was actually contemporary a shopping list, not a recipe.
After donning a simple, but effective disguise, I went back to the shop and asked for the recipe, which they were more than happy to tell, and here it is. Due to the fact that I do not have time to learn Italian, I have taken the liberty to translate the recipe into what I believe to be “The King’s English”, or some form of it.
They made theirs in large baking pans, which I consider too industrial for my taste, and as such, I fell back on the tried and true method of the 12 inch cast iron skillet.
Rosemary Potato Pizza Recipe
1 Russet Potato
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp fresh chopped Rosemary
sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste
*Make your favorite pizza dough. Mine just happens to be the exact same recipe as the pre-made down at Trader Joe’s. So…..do I do ALL the work?
Again,I think not. Buy package and divide into two. You can make 2 skillet pizzas from one TJ package. If you want a scratch pizza dough recipe, my friend Maria sent me a great one. (at bottom of post)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spread dough out in preheated 12 inch skillet. (heat skillet on top burner for one minute) Spread mozzarella cheese on dough. Peel, and thin slice potato,(about 1/8 inch slices) cover potato slices with cheese. Brush on olive oil, add a dash of salt and pepper, add chopped rosemary. Bake in oven for 18 minutes.(15 if you use Maria’s recipe, that will make great crust, but the potato will be Al dente. As such, maybe raise the rack?) Enjoy!
Word to the wise.
That skillet gets real hot, have a care when handling it!
• 2 cups flour
• 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoons white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
Blend yeast in water and add the sugar and olive oilPut 2 cups of flour in large glass or plastic bowl then add the wet ingredients and stir with a fork. , when the flour is wet then add your 1 tsp of salt. (In Italy we say salt is added far away from the yeast)
When you have a ball you can put it out on your counter dusted with flour and begin to knead the dough until is pliable and not sticky, add flour if need be. (This should only take a few minutes) put back into bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in your oven with just the oven light on. . Let raise until double the size.
Take sheet pan and oil the bottom with olive oil (using your hands) Then with your fingers poke the dough to make dents. Once you have done this drizzle ½ to ¾ cups olive oil letting oil go into dents and sprinkle salt on top. Bake in 450° oven until brown