Radicchio pancetta pizza

This recipe is best done with children. Its tastes incredible without them but it won’t be half as much fun. Granted it will take twice a long to generate twice the mess, but trust me it’s worth it. I’ve been making this with my daughter since she was old enough to wield a rolling pin and she can actually roll a pretty round pie. Her friends come over and they get into the action too. They think I’m pretty cool. They call me Poppa Drew. That’s all the praise I’ll ever need.


  • Pizza dough
  • Small head of radicchio lettuce
  • A few pours of good olive oil
  • ¼ lb thinly sliced pancetta
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • A handful of rosemary, loosely chopped
  • Mozzarella cheese, the good stuff packed in water please
  • A handful of baking flour
  • A few handful of cornmeal


  • Several small bowls
  • Garlic press
  • Pizza peal
  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza cutter, not necessary but very cool.
  • Dustbuster, if kids are involved


  1. Place pizza stone into the oven and preheat to 500°F.
  2. Peal and shred radicchio into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and sprinkle with olive oil.
  3. Shred the Mozzarella, place in a small a bowl and set aside.
  4. Chop rosemary and put into a small bowl.
  5. Crush garlic and put into a small bowl.
  6. With a rolling pin, roll a fist sized ball of pizza dough on a floured surface as thinly as possible. A dough should roll out to make a 10 to 12 inch pizza base. If you are lucky it will be nice and round. If it’s not, square pizza tastes just a good.
  7. Place a healthy handful of cornmeal on pizza peal and transfer your rolled dough to the peal. The cornmeal will allow the dough to easily slide off the board when you are ready to transfer the dressed pizza to the oven.
  8. Cover the top of the dough with the shredded radicchio. Then loosely cover the lettuce with the shredded cheese. Too much cheese will over power the other flavors so just a light coating. Lay the pancetta across the top, sprinkle a handful of rosemary, toss some garlic over the pie, and you ready to roll.
  9. Sliding your beautifully decorated pie into the oven is hands down the trickiest part of the entire operation. At about a 35-degree angle place the tip of the peal over the far side of your pizza stone. Then with small flick of the wrist pull the peal back towards you. With a little luck and practice the pie will slide off the peal and land on the hot stone with ease.
  10. Bake at 500°F until done. Your average pizza will take about fifteen minutes, but times can vary so check often. As I general rule of thumb I like to wait until the crust is firm before removing as I like it nice and crispy.
  11. When ready slide your peal under the pizza and remove from the oven. If the dough is crisp it will slide out without problem. If the bottom of the pie is wet and sticky then it is not ready to come out.
  12. Cut. Eat. Repeat until stuffed.

What you should know

If you are feeling lazy you can always purchase some pre-made dough from your local pizza joint. I’ve done this on more than one occasion. The clerks are always confused and the managers think I am nuts, but they always sell me some dough – if only to get rid of me before I scare the customers. The going rate seems to be about $2 to $3. Let us know how it goes for you.

It’s hard for me to admit is but the inspiration for this pizza comes from a terrific cookbook called The Cafe Cook Book. You see I had thought I had stolen it from my sister and as we all know sibling appropriation is perfectly legitimate. But belatedly I must give credit to Rose Gray and Ruth Rodgers for a creation my sister had told me was hers and I had long since begun to claim as my own. All you need to know is that this is simply the best designer pizza I have ever made or tasted. I wish I had thought of it.

Re: Radicchio pancetta pizza

Re: Radicchio pancetta pizza

This takes a lot of patient prep work with all the chopping and shredding but the pizza is delicious and great fun. I love the pancetta and radicchio flavor. They blend perfectly.

Also, I found a pizza dough recipe in “My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey” which is really easy and best of all it does not require baking stones and pizza peals since it uses regular old baking sheets.

Re: Radicchio pancetta pizza

Oh this is good. I was reluctant to try. I am glad I did. This pizza was the hit of the evening.