Sophia Loren’s Pizza alla Napoletana
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup marinara sauce or peeled, chopped tomatoes, to taste
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced, or to taste
2 ounces anchovy filets or strips of thinly sliced prosciutto, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or dried, to taste
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in water. On a clean surface, combine flour and salt. Make a well in center of flour and add the dissolved yeast. Blend together and knead thoroughly. Add oil and continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl; cover and let stand in a warm place for one to three hours, until doubled in bulk.
Flatten dough and roll out to form a 10-inch circle about one-quarter-inch thick. Place dough on a flat surface sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. (If you don’t have an extra-wide spatula or flat lifter of some sort with which to move the assembled pizza, transfer the dough to a board or the flat side of a tray sprinkled with cornmeal so that the pizza will slide off easily into the skillet.) Spread tomato sauce over top of dough. Add mozzarella, anchovies or other toppings, as desired. Sprinkle with basil, Parmesan and pepper, to taste.
Heat oil in large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet. When oil is sizzling, transfer the uncooked pizza to the hot skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until crust is golden and topping is bubbly. If needed, cover pizza for a few minutes toward the end of cooking to speed melting the cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: Calories, 415; protein, 16 grams; carbohydrates, 55 grams; fat, 15 grams; cholesterol, 21 milligrams; sodium, 1,545 milligrams