We were watching Lidia on TV on Saturday, and she was making a Tiella.  It’s a thin-crusted deep-dish pizza stuffed with any combination of seafood and/or vegetables and/or meats.  The most famous (and the ones her son-in-law’s grandmother makes) come from Gaeta, but they can be found throughout Italy.

The dough is a combination of semolina and all-purpose flours, with a bit of salt, sugar, yeast, and olive oil.  Simple.

It’s baked in a cast iron skillet and can be served in the pan or out.  I really should have started this earlier.  It takes 45 minutes to bake and another full hour to cool in the pan before serving.

And I’m hungry now…

So I didn’t wait the hour.  It was out of the pan and on my plate in less than 15 minutes.  It just smelled too damn good to let sit any longer.

I can’t even begin to describe this one!  WOW!  I can just imagine a bazillion and one different fillings!  The crust is light, yet hearty and the fiulling was superb!

Tim’s Tiella

The crust was made using Lidia’s recipe:

  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

Add dry ingredients to food processor or heavy-duty mixer.  Mix or pulse to mix ingredients.  Mix water and 3 tbsp olive oil with yeast mixture and pour into feed tube of processor and mix about 30 seconds.  You should have a soft dough that cleans the side of the bowl.  Add more flour or water if necessary.

Knead briefly to form a smooth ball and place in lightly oiled bowl to rise and double.  Punch down, reform ball and let rise, again.

After second rise, pinch off 1/3 of the dough for the top crust.  Roll out to fit 12″ cast iron skillet or baking dish. (I used a Le Cruset pan and it worked perfectly!)

Roll out top crust to fit top.

Add filling and press down slightly to compact.

Place top crust and fold and pinch seams together to seal.  Brush top with olive oil.

Bake in preheated 375° oven for about 45 minutes.  If you have a baking stone, preheat it in the oven and place the pan on top to bake.

The Filling:

Lidia’s book has a couploe of great-sounding fillings, but on the show she pretty much said to do what you want.  I always have a lot of that in the house, so I did:

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • quattro formaggio cheese

I sauteed the onions with the crumbled sausage.  When they looked good, I added the garlic, then the broccoli rab and S&P.  I cooked it all down until it was quite dry and then cooled it completely.

Placed it in the pan, pressed it down, covered with cheese, added the top crust, and then baked for about 45 minutes.

The recipe calls for allowing it to cool for an hour in the pan before turning out.  I let it maybe cool for 15 minutes.

It was damn good!