Our easy nduja pizza recipe makes a gently spiced pizza with the spicy Calabrian spreadable pork sausage combined with tomatoes and tomato paste to make a delicious base. Although cooked in a Dutch Oven it manages to have the hallmarks of a pizza made in a traditional pizza oven. Our ’nduja pizza recipe is next in our series of ’nduja recipes.
This easy nduja pizza recipe is next in our series of best ’nduja recipes for dishes made with Southern Italy’s famously fiery pork paste. We kicked off with an introduction to Calabria’s ’nduja di Spilinga, followed by Terence’s spin on Australian chef Christine Manfield’s eggplant ‘sandwich’ with ’nduja instead of basil pesto.
We also shared the Calabrian take on eggs in purgatory with ’nduja for our Weekend Eggs series of breakfast dishes from around the world, and over the next weeks – or until our Calabrian spicy sausage paste runs out – we’ll be posting more of our favourite ’nduja recipes, which will include everything from ’nduja bruschetta to ’nduja pasta.
While ’nduja can be quite fiery, here I combine it with tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli flakes, garlic, and olive oil to make a gently-spiced tomato base for the pizza, however, you can spice it up and give it more of a kick with more chilli. Before I tell you about our nduja pizza recipe and how to make pizza in a Dutch oven, I have a favour to ask.
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Now let me tell you more about our easy nduja pizza recipe and how to make pizza in a Dutch oven.
Easy Nduja Pizza Recipe and How to Make a Dutch Oven Pizza
When we began planning our series of Calabrian nduja recipes, an nduja pizza was one of the first recipes incorporating the spicy Southern Italian sausage paste that I scrawled on our kitchen whiteboard.
However, having moved from an apartment with two ovens but horrid landlords, to a lovely apartment with caring landlords but only a countertop toaster oven, some adjustments had to be been made.
Having now conquered the challenge of making sourdough bread in a toaster oven, it was time to experiment again. Could I get a pizza with a decent crust and a firm base using the lid of the Dutch oven? It turns out that it is achievable.
There is much to improve on following my first few attempts, but it definitely makes a great little pizza. I still have experiments I want to do with slow cold-fermented doughs, and I’ll update this post after I do those, but I’d make this Dutch oven pizza any day over getting in the awful home-delivery pizzas our neighbours are ordering during our current lockdown.
Tips to Making This Nduja Pizza Recipe and How to Make a Dutch Oven Pizza
My first tip for making this ’nduja pizza recipe successfully is to make sure you have a Dutch oven with a lid that has side handles, not the plastic-looking knob or loop handle on top. Hopefully, the reasons why are obvious. Note that I’ll be referring to the lid of the Dutch Oven as a ‘skillet’ as that’s what a lot of the brands say you can use the lid as.
Secondly, note that the shallower the Dutch oven lid, the easier it will be to slide the pizza onto the lid. This is something to keep in mind before you finish topping your pizza – only to find that it’s almost certain that the pizza will get burnt or you’ll unintentionally end up making a calzone.
Our ’nduja pizza recipe calls for packet yeast for the sake of expediency – and also for the fact that our fridge is too full to fit even more resting dough in it. That’s because we’re currently in lockdown and only allowed out for two shopping trips a week. (It’s worth noting that I also have a sourdough discard pizza recipe on the site.)
I always use what is generally called Tipo “00” flour or “Double Zero” flour, a soft white flour that’s also excellent for filled pastas. The most popular brand is Antimo Caputo Chef’s Flour, which is excellent. One brand that we’ve seen worldwide is Divella Pizza Flour, which is a consistently good soft Italian flour.
Because of the size of our Dutch oven, we can only make 23 cm or 9 inch size pizzas. This is not ideal for a pizza party of more than four people but is perfectly fine for a couple of people. Lara and I were very satisfied after a few of these babies.
I’ve spotted other ’nduja pizza recipes that have loads of toppings, such as one pizza with a handful of ingredients that included ’nduja, caramelised onions, olives, and anchovies, which we tested out, but the best way to make this work is to reduce the amount of ’nduja to let the flavours of the anchovies come through.
Other toppings we’re trying include salami (for this we’ll reduce the amount of ‘nduja), roasted red peppers, rocket leaves, goats cheese, and fresh buffalo mozzarella. These all work well with this spicy base – as long as you don’t pile them on your pizza all together.
If you can’t find any ‘nduja locally, you can buy ’nduja online – thankfully!
Easy Nduja Pizza Recipe
- 190 ml warm water
- 20 ml olive oil - plus extra for brushing
- Small pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 300 g 00 flour - plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 g tinned tomatoes - quality ones such as San Marzano
- 1 tsp 'nduja
- 20 g tomato paste
- 10 g olive oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes - to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 80 g Mozarella
- 20 g Parmesan
- To Serve
- Grated Parmesan - optional
- Fresh basil - optional
- Preheat the oven to at least 230˚C with the Dutch Oven 'skillet' in the centre tray position.
To Make the Tomato Sauce
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, then the tinned tomatoes, garlic powder and tomato paste. Warm through and add the 'nduja and stir until combined. Taste and season if necessary.
To Make the 'Nduja Topping
- Once you have made the tomato sauce, add a tbsp to the remaining 'Nduja and combine well.
To Make The Pizza Dough
- Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Set aside until foamy.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the olive oil to the liquid mixture and add to the flour and salt. Use a flexible dough scraper to mix the wet and dry ingredients, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
- Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured (with more 00 flour) surface and knead the dough until it looks smooth and elastic (around 7-10 minutes).
- Lightly brush a mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm environment. Allow to at least double in size. This can take between 45 minutes to an hour.
- When it has risen, remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently punch the dough back and weigh the dough. Divide this into 3rds and create 3 pieces of dough.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball, set onto a baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and cover for 30 minutes. At this stage the dough ball can be transferred to a fridge for later use.
- Now is a good time to prepare the toppings.
Finishing The Pizza
- After 30 minutes the ball will have grown in size. This is the 2nd rise of the dough. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the dough using all your fingers, leaving little divots in the dough. Continue this with your palms, remembering to leave an untouched 'rim' of the dough to form that great risen crust.
- To get the dough to the correct size to fit your 'skillet' there are many methods to stretching the dough, my favourite is to stretch the dough using the 'slap technique. Do not ever roll your pizza dough with a rolling pin.
- If your skillet has quite a shallow lip, you can finish the assembly of the pizza on a pizza peel, otherwise you need to have everything ready and transfer the dough directly to to skillet and top it off there.
- Whichever method you use, take a large spoonful of tomato sauce and starting at the centre, lightly distribute the tomato sauce in circles up to the thicker border of the crust.
- Place your mozzarella pieces on top, then in-between each piece spread a small dollop of 'nduja and some Parmesan.
- Place the skillet with the pizza back in the oven. It should be done at the 5-7 minute mark.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and top with more Parmesan and a little basil, if so desired.
We’d love to know what you think of our ’nduja pizza recipe and Dutch oven pizza. Please let us know in the comments below.