I haven’t posted a pizza recipe in way too long! So, today I am sharing my recipe for a Pizza Ortolana. Ortolano in italian means “from the vegetable patch”. It is a great vegetarian pizza and a somewhat healthier option as it’s made with grilled eggplant, roasted bell pepper and artichoke hearts. I recently read a funny article about someone ordering a pizza in Italy that “did not exist”. Italians are very particular with their food and I found myself agreeing with the pizzaiolo of the article. My first reaction was exactly the same… I am often shocked when I read pizza menus here in Australia and the moment I read “gourmet pizza” I immediately walk away. There is no place for Tandoori Chicken, Argentine Carne, Middle Eastern Beef or Spicy Korean Prawn Salad on a pizza! EVER. This Pizza Ortolana is a classic pizza and you can easily find it on any pizzeria menu in Italy. Pizza is a simple, hearty and no fuss dish, just like Italian cuisine in general. No need to complicate it. Try it and le me know. Buon appetito!
Pizza Ortolana - a traditional vegetarian topping for an authentic Italian pizza.
- 1 batch of pizza dough
- 400 ml – 13.5 oz. tomato purée
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Salt to taste
- 350 gms – 12.5 oz. bocconcini or fresh mozzarella (half sliced and half shredded)
- 2 red bell peppers roasted, skinned and sliced
- 12 slices eggplant roasted
- 7 artichoke hearts marinated in oil, quartered
- Extra virgin olive oil
Make the pizza dough as per this recipe and keep it to rise.
While the dough rests, prepare the toppings: slice and shred the mozzarella.
Prepare the tomato base by mixing the tomato purée with the extra virgin olive oil, oregano and salt to taste.
When the pizza dough is ready, divide it in 4 smaller balls and roll them with a rolling pin into 4 circles approximately 0.5 cm – ¼ inch thick.
Now spread the tomato base on the pizza and bake in a preheated fan forced oven at 180°C – 355°F for 15 minutes.
Take them out of the oven and put the mozzarella, eggplant, bell peppers and artichoke hearts on the top. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes to let the cheese melt.
When ready, take the pizze out of the oven and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Decorate with fresh basil leaves, cut and enjoy warm!
If you have a pizza stone like me, you can put the toppings on the pizza straight away (at the same time you put the tomato sauce) as the pizza will cook much faster on the stone (mine takes about 10 minutes) and the cheese will not burn.