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Bolognese Bread Pizza


  • 1 long loaf, 20-24 inches, Italian semolina bread, day old is fine

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 1 turn of the pan

  • 2 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped

  • Coarse black pepper and coarse salt

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon allspice, (1/3 palmful)

  • 1/2 cup red wine, (a couple of glugs)

  • 1/2 cup beef stock

  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 pound fresh smoked mozzarella, fresh mozzarella or scamorza (firmer, aged mozzarella balls) thinly sliced

  • 4 handfuls grated Parmigiano or Romano

  • 1 cup fresh basil, 20 leaves, shredded or torn


Heat the oven to 450°F.

Split bread lengthwise then cut in half again and hollow out some of the insides of bread. Lightly crisp bread in oven, 5-8 minutes. Remove bread and switch broiler on.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add EVOO, 1 turn of the pan. Add the pancetta, render a minute or so, add the meat and break it up into an even layer. Let the meat caramelize 1-2 minutes without stirring. Break it into small bits and brown well. Add garlic, onions and carrots and season with lots of coarse pepper, some salt, Worcestershire and allspice then cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and scrape up pan bits. Add stock and loosen up the mixture a little. Add tomatoes and parsley and heat through, 1-2 minutes.

Fill breads and top with a thin layer of mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmigiano or Romano. Broil the pizzas to melt cheese. Top each pizza liberally with basil and serve (with a fork and knife).