Artisanal Pizza: Beyond Margherita

Artisanal Pizza

“Artisanal Pizza: Beyond Margherita” explores the rich diversity of lesser-known Italian regional pizzas, showcasing unique flavors, toppings, and culinary traditions that go beyond the iconic Margherita. These artisanal pizzas highlight the creativity and local ingredients that define each region’s gastronomic identity. Let’s delve into some distinctive examples:

1. Sicilian Sfincione

Origin: Sicily, Southern Italy


  • Dough: Thick, spongy dough typically made with semolina flour, olive oil, and sometimes potatoes.
  • Toppings: Topped with a rich tomato sauce, often flavored with anchovies, onions, and sometimes breadcrumbs for texture.
  • Cheese: Typically topped with a blend of caciocavallo or pecorino cheese.
  • Seasoning: Sprinkled with oregano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil after baking.

Cultural Significance:

  • Traditional Dish: Sfincione is a beloved street food and a staple during festivals and celebrations in Sicily.
  • Historical Roots: Traces its origins back to ancient Roman times and has evolved over centuries with local influences.

2. Roman Pinsa

Origin: Rome, Lazio region, Central Italy


  • Dough: Oval-shaped and lighter than traditional pizza dough, made with a blend of wheat, soy, and rice flours to create a crispy yet airy crust.
  • Toppings: Typically topped with a variety of ingredients such as cured meats (prosciutto, pancetta), fresh vegetables (artichokes, zucchini), and cheeses (mozzarella, ricotta).
  • Sauce: Often topped with a light tomato sauce or olive oil base.

Cultural Significance:

  • Ancient Origins: Pinsa dates back to ancient Roman times when it was made with different grains and cooked on stones.
  • Revival: Recently revived as a gourmet pizza option, appreciated for its lightness and versatility in toppings.
Artisanal Pizza
Artisanal Pizza

3. Neapolitan Pizza Sbagliata

Origin: Naples, Campania region, Southern Italy


  • Dough: Similar to Neapolitan pizza but with a unique twist in preparation.
  • Toppings: Features toppings that are added “sbagliata” (mistakenly) after baking, instead of before, creating a more rustic appearance.
  • Cheese: Typically topped with buffalo mozzarella or fresh fior di latte cheese.
  • Sauce: Simple tomato sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes and seasoned with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Cultural Significance:

  • Authenticity: Reflects the Neapolitan tradition of simple yet flavorful ingredients, emphasizing the quality of local produce.
  • Innovation: Offers a playful interpretation of traditional Neapolitan pizza-making techniques.

4. Ligurian Focaccia di Recco

Origin: Recco, Liguria region, Northwest Italy


  • Dough: Thin and crispy crust made with a high hydration dough that resembles a flaky pastry.
  • Filling: Typically filled with crescenza or stracchino cheese, which melts into a creamy consistency during baking.
  • Seasoning: Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt after baking.

Cultural Significance:

  • Regional Specialty: Focaccia di Recco is a specialty of the Ligurian coast, known for its simplicity and rich flavor from local cheeses and olive oil.
  • Versatility: Can be enjoyed as an appetizer, snack, or paired with a variety of Ligurian wines.


Artisanal pizzas beyond Margherita exemplify Italy’s culinary diversity and regional specialties. Each pizza reflects local traditions, ingredients, and historical influences, offering a unique gastronomic experience that goes beyond the familiar. Whether you’re indulging in the hearty flavors of Sicilian sfincione or savoring the lightness of Roman pinsa, artisanal pizzas showcase Italy’s rich culinary heritage and creativity in every delicious bite.