Having Fun Making Pizza Artisana (aka Pizza al Tracey)

We were fortunate to be joined by some special guests (and special friends) in the latest episode of Cooking with Mama Lombardo.  Tracey Zellmann and Susan (aka Susanna) Zollmann-Rohrer brought their special magic to the set of the show, and introduced us to Pizza Artisana (otherwise known as Pizza al Tracey).

Tracey, Susan, Mama Lombardo and Gary

Pizza Artisana is something Tracey and Susan have been making for many years, every Friday night.  Tracey has a special process he goes through in preparing the pizza, including picking up the cheese at his favorite cheese shop (The Cheese Shop in Concord, MA) where he’s known as a regular, preparing the pizza stone with heated precision, “punching” the dough with great fan fare (I was lucky enough to do the punching this time!), and shaking the pizza for the final touch.   Tracey’s recipe is fantastic, and he shares all his secrets during a fun-filled Episode 11.

The recipe for Pizza Artisana is very simple and straightforward, and creates enough for two pizzas. Start off by pre-heating your oven to 500 degrees, including heating the pizza stone in the process.  The pizza stone will help cook the pizza and create a tasty, crunchy crust.

Preparing the dough

For the dough, you will need the following ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 cup of hot water, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and a 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Start off by heating the hot water to about 110-115 degrees.  Mix the sugar and yeast thoroughly in the water.  Next, put the 3 cups of flour into a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, salt, and then mix in the water and yeast mix.  Mix thoroughly, preferably using an electric mixer, to make sure the ingredietns are well mixed and help knead the dough.  Once finished, place the dough in a large bowl that has been coated with olive oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Place the bowl in a warm spot and let the dough rise for about 2 hours.

Making the pizza

You will need the following ingredients for preparing the pizza:  2 balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, 1 large diced onion, and tomato sauce.

Slice up one of the balls of mozzarella cheese into small cubes.  Dice up the onion, and place on a dish in a microwave, heating it for 6 minutes.  Heating the onion helps soften up the onion for the pizza.

Once the dough has finished rising, you are ready to make the pizza.  Break the dough into two even balls.  Place one ball aside, and roll out the other into a flat, round circle.  Be sure to leave a small rise in the crust around the circumference of the pizza, which will be the crust and hold in the toppings.

Place the diced mozzarella on the pizza dough.  Next, spread the tomato sauce on the pizza evenly across the top.  Finally, add the onions on the pizza.

Spread some corn meal on a pizza board, which you will use to put the pizza in the oven.  The corn meal will help to make the pizza won’t stick to the pizza board. Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 11 minutes.  You want to make sure the pizza is well cooked, with the crust a golden brown color.  If it doesn’t show that color before it’s done, let it cook for a few more minutes.

Once done, you place the pizza on a open-faced grate for even cooling.  Once cooled, take the corn meal off the bottom of the pizza by shaking the grate over an open area, such as your sink.  Shake it until all the corn meal is off the pizza. Next, lightly brush on a coating of olive oil on the crust of the pizza, which will give it a nice flavor and shine.  Cut the pizza into even slices, and serve!

Thanks to Tracey and Susan

I want to give a special thank you to Tracey and Susan for being guests on the show.  We had a lot of fun, and appreciate them coming on.  As you can see in the video, we enjoyed the pizza together on a beautiful summer day, out in the sun and with some wine.  Exactly the way pizza was mant to be eaten!

Want More?

If you liked Pizza Artisana, be sure to check out Episode 2: Mama Lombardo’s Pizza, for another take on this Italian classic.

Interested in Being a Guest on Cooking with Mama Lombardo?

If you’re interested in being a guest on Cooking with Mama Lombardo, just let us know by dropping us an email at mamalombardo at gmail dot com.  The only requirements are that you have an Italian recipe that you feel comfortable cooking (and preferably have a story to go along with it!) and can cook in Mama Lombardo’s kitchen.  We’d love to have you!

3 responses to “Having Fun Making Pizza Artisana (aka Pizza al Tracey)

  1. OUTSTANDING! You are very lucky to have Mama Lombardo as a resident cook! Thanks for sharing the artisan pizza; it is simple and it is delicious. Umm. Pizza.

  2. Great to have you on the show. You’re welcome back anytime!

  3. Manual Pasta Machine

    I love making pizza this time of year with all the fresh veggies in my garden. There is nothing better than homemade pizza dough with freshly made tomatoe sauce and herbs from the garden. Thanks for the recipe

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