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Epic Merende Memories And My Recipe For Pizza “Al Tegamino”

Pizza Al Tegamino (Pan Pizza) Recipe

What makes pizza so special?

I think the secret is to be found in its simplicity.
Then if I had to tell you what makes the pan-fried pizza incredible, I would add the choice of mold and olive oil.

About Epic Merende And My Recipe For Pizza "Al Tegamino"Epiche merende e la ricetta delle pizzette al tegamino

Pizza al tegamino (or Baked Pan Pizza)

Literally means “pizza in the pan”. This is what happens when you decide to use a little skillet rather than a baking tray. But, be careful, you have to cook it into the oven because if you make it on the heat, at the end you’ll have a very different kind of pizza.

It’ a modern reinterpretation of an older recipe of Turin (the capital of Piedmont region) origin that probably, at first, concerned the preparation of the focaccia. The peculiarity is that each piece is cooked in an iron or aluminium little pan, in the oven and at high temperature. If you don’t have this kind of mould, or not enough to bake all the pizzas, below you will find a suggestion to make your own handmade moulds.

The dough requires a significant amount of water and double rising. During baking it becomes high, exceptionally soft inside, with crispy base and edges. The crust, an exquisite characteristic of these pizzas, is obtained by generously greasing the small skillets and the surface of the pizzette, even during baking. No one will ever tell you, but this is the secret. Olive oil and a very hot oven are the basis of your success. Otherwise you run the risk it looks more like bread than pizza al tegamino.

Pizza al tegamino isn’t only a recipe, also very good. For me it’s full of memories and remember me all the merende that accompanied my life as a teenager in a provincial town. That’s why I tried to develop my own recipe until I found the taste I remembered. For the final version, the one I’m proposing you, I used half flour 0 (the Italian flour to make bread) and half wholemeal flour.

Shall we have merenda together?

Pizza Skillet

First, I’d like to talk to you about Imola, where Emilia embraces Romagna

Imola is the place where I’ born and raise (and where I met my first pizza al tegamino). Although it’s located in the province of Bologna (which is Emilia), the city is permeated with culture and traditions typical of Romagna.

The city that Dante mentions in the Divina Commedia, it has been ruled by Caterina Sforza, one of the most fascinating women of the Renaissance, a Church State property and the birthplace of Andrea Costa, the Father of Italian socialism. As evidence of its agricultural past, it’s still surrounded by the countryside. On one side it becomes hill that rises, at first gentle then ever steeper, towards Tuscany; on the other side it’s flat and the view goes endlessly among expanses of fields, the famous “Bassa”.

The Bassa Romagnola must not be confused with the Bassa Padana (Po Valley), even if one continues in the other and both were marshy and very poor lands. And even if Imola isn’t a town of the Bassa Romagnola, there is an area of the countryside that has similar characteristics. Fields without trees, very hot summers and very cold winters, fog and mosquitoes. It was a poor and troubled land, inhabited by farmers, poor devils and bandits.

And if my mother’s family comes from that area, my father’s family has its roots in the small villages of the Romagna-Tuscany Apennines.

And even though I was born in the historical centre of Imola, I don’t forget that, before moving to Bologna, I lived in a place known as the city of a hundred gardens.
Maybe one day I’ll tell you this story too.

Best friends and Merende

Not today, I would like to take you by the hand and take you for a walk under the porticoes of the small town of Imola.

Merenda is one of the best moments I remember with my best friends.
Maybe because we couldn’t go out in the evening and maybe because between food and disco, we were always more faithful to the fork than to the disco. Then came the evenings in the discos on the Riviera Romagnola but, come to think of it, my life has always been marked by the succession of seasons at the table.

Pizza al tegamino (Pan Pizza)

Merenda Grand Tour

Throughout the year, for years, we solemnly celebrated the rite of the merenda. We were practically always eating. But don’t think about little girls eating junk food. Young, but very serious gourmets, we elected our fav places and scrupulously followed our program, which, of course, took the seasons into account. Today I’ll tell you about Saturday afternoon snacks in winter.

With my friend Claudia I took part in a cooking program created for Food Network Italia, The Recipes Of The Heart, where we also told about our epic snacks.

Saturday Afternoon, Winter

In the 1980s, before shopping malls became competitors of natural old town centers, young people spent Saturday afternoons in the downtown.

Although arcades are a distinctive feature of Bologna, the squares of the cities of Romagna almost always have a portico surrounding the main square.

In Imola we used to walk narrow like sardines under a portico perhaps 50 meters long.
The other arcades, which also exist, remained inexplicably deserted.

Time passed between chitchat and meetings. And the merenda grand tour.

First stop: pizza al tegamino

The Saturday afternoon winter tour always started with a pan pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven of the small delicatessen that is still under the portico of the palace built during the fascist era. The old owners left the recipe for the pan pizza to the guys who run the place today and if you visit my town, don’t miss the opportunity to stop there and taste a pizza.

When the old wood-burning oven door opened, I could see the flame bursting brightly. On Saturday afternoons, there was often a queue in front of the small delicatessen.
The scent of the pizzas filled the air, an immediate promise of happiness that was never broken. For us the right number was almost always two.

Italian Recpes

Next stops

For the second stop each time we chose between tramezzini at the bar Roma or sandwiches at the Bacchilega bar (which no longer exists). Both divine, if you love this kind of food. Both handmade. The yellow and sincere mayonnaise sauce, the soft bread. Flavors like this can’t be found (almost) anymore.

Before the last stop, there was still time for a few more walks under the portico.

The last stop was always at the Pasticceria La Rocca, still open even if it’s no longer in the downtown. Each took its own selection of savoury mignon. Those little sandwiches, a bite and go, dancing in the mouth, some buttery vol-au-vents exploding on the tongue. We’d eat a thousand of them. And maybe, over the years, we did it. As soon as we came out, we’d turn into the narrow alleys of the centre and there, in the fog that lapped the light of the street lamps, we’d consume the last stop of our grand tour in a sort of private moment.

At 7pm, one lucky parent came to pick us up to go home. And yes, I also had dinner.

No wonder if today I’m cooking like a crazy and I’m writing this blog.
What is surprising is none of us have become obese.

Cook memories, you’ll taste good,

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Delicious Italian Recipe

Food Tips

To better dose the quantity of olive oil, which must be generous, I use a dispenser with a spout.

If you don’t have the right saucepans, use aluminium paper. Overlay 2-3 sheets and use an inverted bottom plate to give the shape of the pan and grease as per the procedure.

Pizza al tegamino Recipe (Pan Pizza)

about 12 pizzas

Metal or aluminium pans diameter about 10cm

500 g wholemeal flour
500 g flour 0
3 g instant brewer’s yeast
600 ml hot water
50 g olive oil
5 g sugar
7 g fine salt

tomato puree, mozzarella, capers


In a large bowl mix the two flours.

Melt yeast and sugar in a little hot water.

Pour this mixture, olive oil and 300 ml of lukewarm water on the flours.

Mix by hand or in the planetary adding little by little the rest of the water and, before finishing the water, add in also the salt.

The dough must be soft and sticky. If the dough is too compact, add more water than I indicated.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 7-8 hours.

After this time, pour the dough on a clean, floured surface. Grease or wet your hands and cut pieces of dough from about 140-150 g each, making 11-12 pieces.

With a brush, wet all the small pans with water and oil and put a piece of dough in each mould giving them the shape of the pan using your fingers. Add oil generously if you want that pizza al tegamino forms a crunchy and tasty base and edges. Then brush with water and oil even the top of the pizzas, put in the oven off, and let it rise for an hour, even better two hours.

In a bowl, season the passata with olive oil and salt. If you want to leave pizzas red, without mozzarella, add some capers to the sauce that you have first washed and chopped.

Pour a few spoonfuls of seasoned sauce on the pizzas, one last layer of olive oil and bake in a preheated oven (190 degrees, static oven) for 20 minutes.

In the meantime cut the mozzarella into slices and add it almost at the end of cooking.

About halfway through cooking, grease pizzas again by pouring a little oil (for this I use the dispenser).

Repeat when you take out the pizzas from the oven, so the top will remain inviting and super mouth-watering.

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