The Vatican Cookbook Is Coming and It Includes This Pope Francis-Inspired Pizza Recipe
The only thing cooler than actually enjoying a meal with Pope Francis is making one of his personal favorite dishes at home — and with the upcoming Vatican Cookbook, you can do just that.
The book, put together by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, is a collection of recipes from over 500 years in the Vatican City, with tributes to Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.
Because we’re fascinated by everything the current Pope does, we immediately flipped to his chapter—and it did not disappoint. A member of the Pope’s guardians, former chef and co-author of the book David Geisser included recipes from Francis’s native Argentina.
And since he has expressed a love for pizza during his reign (he famously said, “The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza,”) Geisser made sure to add an Argentinian take on the dish.
Try making the cheesy meal at home and it’ll be just like His Holiness is sitting across the table. Well, as close as you’re going to get anyway.
Pizza a Caballo
Serves: 4 to 6
½ cup warm water, about 110°
1 packet yeast (2 ¼ tsp.)
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
Olive oil for greasing
Sauce & toppings:
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup sliced onions
½ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. fresh basil
1 cup chopped zucchini
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
8 slices faina flatbead
½ tsp. semolina flour
1. For the pizza dough, place the warm water in a bowl, add the yeast, and mix. Let stand about 5 minutes until the yeast blooms. Add the lukewarm water and olive oil, and stir.
2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix on low. Slowly add the water, mixing on low until the dough forms. Use a dough hook to knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. Punch the risen dough to deflate it, and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide it into two equal pieces, form both into smooth balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough balls rest for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500°.
4. Dust the pizza pan with semolina. Take one ball of dough and shape it to fit the pan. Top with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle oregano and basil over the sauce. Add mushrooms, onions and zucchini. Add a layer of sliced or shredded mozzarella over all.
5. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake the pizzas until the crust darkens and the cheese melts, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place pie-cut slices of faina on top. Return to oven for 2 minutes, no more.
—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone