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A Pizza Without Crust

Pizza senza crosta: a speedy dish that is perfect for an easy dinner.

Pizza senza crosta is like a cross between fondue, mozzarella sticks and pizza, a rich tomato sauce, with big wedges of mozzarella and a basket of cut up focaccia or ciabatta to accompany it. This recipe is courtesy of Rolando Beramendi, author of Autentico.


q.b. stands for quanto basta which, in Italian, means "as much as is needed" or "as much as is enough"


For the pizza without a crust

  • 2 Cups Salsa di Pomodoro (see recipe below)
  • q.b. coarse sea salt and crushed Tellicherry black peppercorns
  • 2 or 3 basil sprigs, plus more to finish
  • 1 ball (225 g) mozzarella di bufala, sliced into 12 equal pieces
  • Focaccia, ciabatta, or rustic Italian bread, cut or torn into pieces
  • Bowls of olives, anchovies, pepperoncini, or cruschi, for serving

For the salsa di pomodoro

  • 1/4 Cup medium extra- virgin olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, finely chopped (about 2½ cups)
  • 2 Cups passata di pomodoro
  • 6 sprigs basil
  • q.b. coarse sea salt and crushed Tellicherry black peppercorns


For the pizza without a crust

In a large straight-sided skillet, warm the tomato sauce over medium-low heat. When the sauce begins to bubble, season with salt and pepper and stir in the basil and mozzarella slices. Cover and heat until the mozzarella is partially melted (you want some stringy pieces), about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and scatter additional basil over the top. Serve immediately with bread and condiments.

For the salsa di pomodoro

In a large saucepan, combine the olive oil and onions and sauté over medium heat until the onions are transparent, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the passata and basil and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has reduced by one-third, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard the basil sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Use immediately or reheat before serving. Salsa di Pomodoro will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Autentico by Rolando Beramendi (St Martin’s Griffin, 2017)