This Rustic Puttanesca Pizza Recipe with Onions is a delicious and unique take on the classic Italian dish that combines the flavors of pasta and pizza into one tasty dish.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this pizza. This will forever be my favorite pizza to make from scratch. It is SO easy, quick and delicious. Puttanesca sauce is my absolute favorite sauces. We make this pizza sauce with capers, olives and garlic although puttanesca traditionally contains anchovies. Savory and sweet, spicy and bold, Rustic Pizza Puttanesca with Onions packs a punch that will make your taste buds salivate with each bite.
What is Puttanesca Pizza?
Puttanesca pizza is a type of pizza that is inspired by the classic Italian pasta dish, Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. It is typically made with a tomato-based sauce that is flavored with garlic, anchovies, capers, olives, and sometimes red pepper flakes. These bold and savory flavors are then combined with a thin crust pizza base and topped with mozzarella cheese before being baked to perfection.
The toppings on a puttanesca pizza can vary depending on the restaurant or personal preferences, but the traditional ingredients mentioned above are what give this pizza its distinctive flavor. Some variations may also include additional toppings such as onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, or other types of cheese.
Puttanesca Pizza Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Pizza dough
- Olive oil
- White wine
- Whole plum tomatoes
- Crushed red peppers
See recipe card for Rustic Pizza Puttanesca with Onions quantities.
How to make Puttanesca Pizza
In a large pan, add olive oil and onion and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic until it starts to brown, around 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and stir. Bring to a simmer until wine evaporates by half, about 4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add the olives, capers, red pepper flakes and cook for another 6 minutes. Stir in the basil and simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. This is the puttanesca sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Add flour on the counter and flatten the pizza dough out with a roller. Make sure to put flour on your hands and on the roller to keep the dough from sticking! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the flattened dough onto the baking sheet.
With a spoon, add the puttanesca sauce on the pizza. Slice the mozzarella and add in an even layer.
Put in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Feel free to broil for 1-2 minutes extra if you want it to be more crispy. After the pizza is done, add about 6 pieces of basil on it. The heat of the pizza will soften the basil leaves. Feel free to drizzle on olive oil and salt on it as well.
If you don't have all of the traditional ingredients for puttanesca pizza, there are some ingredient substitutions you can make to still achieve a similar flavor profile. Here are a few ideas:
- Anchovies: If you don't have anchovies or don't like them, you can substitute them with a tablespoon of capers or a teaspoon of fish sauce.
- Olives: If you don't have olives or don't like them, you can omit them or substitute them with chopped artichoke hearts or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Tomatoes: If you don't have fresh or canned tomatoes for the sauce, you can substitute with tomato paste or a jar of marinara sauce.
- Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder instead.
- Red pepper flakes: If you don't have red pepper flakes, you can use a pinch of cayenne pepper or omit the spice altogether.
- Cheese: If you don't have mozzarella cheese, you can use any other type of cheese you have on hand, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or feta.
Puttanesca Pizza Recipe Variations
While traditional puttanesca pizza includes tomato sauce, garlic, anchovies, capers, olives, and red pepper flakes, there are many variations of this dish that incorporate additional or different toppings. Here are a few examples:
- Vegetarian puttanesca pizza: For a vegetarian version, you can omit the anchovies and add more vegetables such as sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, or spinach.
- White puttanesca pizza: Instead of tomato sauce, you can use a white sauce made with garlic, olive oil, and a blend of cheeses. Top with the traditional puttanesca ingredients or add other toppings such as artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Meat lovers puttanesca pizza: Add some protein to your pizza by topping it with cooked Italian sausage or diced prosciutto. You could also include sliced pepperoni or bacon.
- Seafood puttanesca pizza: Add shrimp, clams, or other seafood to your pizza for a delicious twist on the traditional recipe.
- Spicy puttanesca pizza: If you love spicy food, you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce or add sliced jalapenos or crushed red pepper flakes to the toppings.
Check out my Neapolitan Pizza Recipe.
To make puttanesca pizza in the oven, you will need the following equipment:
- Pizza stone or baking sheet: A pizza stone is ideal for making pizza, as it helps to evenly distribute heat and create a crispy crust. If you don't have a pizza stone, a baking sheet can work as well.
- Oven: You will need an oven to bake the pizza.
- Rolling pin: A rolling pin will help you to flatten the pizza dough into a round shape.
- Pizza peel: A pizza peel is a tool used to transfer the pizza from the work surface to the oven. If you don't have a pizza peel, you can use a flat baking sheet or the back of a large baking sheet.
- Mixing bowls: You will need mixing bowls to make the pizza dough and the puttanesca sauce.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You will need measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure the ingredients for the pizza dough and the sauce.
- Knife and cutting board: You will need a knife and cutting board to chop the garlic, olives, and other toppings.
- Oven mitts: Oven mitts will protect your hands when you are handling the hot pizza stone or baking sheet.
How to store my Puttanesca Pizza Recipe
To store puttanesca pizza, you should follow these simple steps:
- Let it cool: Before storing the pizza, make sure it has cooled down to room temperature. This will prevent condensation from forming in the storage container, which could make the pizza soggy.
- Wrap the pizza: Wrap the pizza tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it fresh. Make sure the wrap is sealed around the pizza, and try to avoid leaving any gaps.
- Refrigerate: Put the wrapped pizza in the refrigerator and store it for up to 3-4 days. If you need to store it for longer, you can freeze it for up to 1-2 months.
- Reheat: To reheat the pizza, you can put it back in the oven or toaster oven at 375°F (190°C) for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can heat it up in the microwave, but this may result in a softer crust.
Puttanesca Pizza Recipe Top tips
- Use quality ingredients: Because puttanesca pizza has few toppings, it's important to use high-quality ingredients. Use fresh tomatoes, good quality olives and capers, and fresh herbs for the best flavor.
- Don't overload the pizza: Remember that puttanesca pizza is traditionally a simple pizza with few toppings. Don't overload it with too many ingredients, or it will be difficult to cook properly.
- Use a pizza peel: To transfer the pizza to the oven, use a pizza peel to slide it onto the preheated pizza stone. This will help prevent the pizza from sticking to the peel and ensure that it cooks evenly.
- Add the toppings after the sauce: Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Then add the toppings on top of the sauce, making sure to distribute them evenly.
- Let the pizza rest before cutting: After the pizza is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This will allow the cheese to set and prevent the toppings from sliding off.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove