Pizza capricciosa (literally capricious pizza) is a popular pizza in Italy, but not very well known throughout the world. It consists of 4 different types of toppings, being basically a “mixed” 4 seasons pizza, because it usually has the same toppings, but mixed together.
You can add your own toppings for your pizza capricciosa, but a very typical setting is using cooked ham (prosciutto cotto), button mushrooms, artichoke hearts and black olives. These are the ones that I’m using in this recipe.
For an authentic Italian pizza, using 4 different toppings is rare. Also these toppings have really different flavors – in the classic 4 seasons pizza they represent the flavor profile of the 4 seasons of the year. These toppings make that when you bite into your pizza capricciosa, you don’t really know what to expect. Thus this is a capricious, impulsive, unpredictable pizza by Italian standards.
Pizza Capricciosa Recipe
Amounts in this recipe yield 1 large pizza capricciosa.
- Preheat your oven to the highest heat possible.
- To make pizza capricciosa, first prepare the pizza dough. You can use store-bought, but it’s so simple to make it at home. Please refer to my pizza dough recipe to make your pizza dough at home.
- Form a ball from the dough. Start by making a circular motion with the palm of your hand, with some pressure. Then release the pressure gradually until you get a nice ball shape.
- Put your pizza dough balls on a lightly floured work surface. Dust them with some more flour, and let them proof covered with a kitchen towel for another 15 minutes.
- Shape your dough to form a large, thin disk and place it in a pizza pan. Read my detailed instructions on how to shape your pizza dough by clicking on the link to get more help with this step.
- Put your tomato purée (passata) on top of your pizza dough, in the middle. With a back of a spoon or a ladle, using circular motions towards the edges, make sure the tomato covers your pizza dough. Leave an edge about 1 inch (2-3 cm) thick.
- Drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some dried oregano and salt.
- Add your mozzarella cheese. Just tear it in bite size pieces, and place them over the tomato sauce.
- Cut your mushrooms into 1/4-1/5 inch (5-6 mm) slices. Cut your artichoke hearts into 8. Tear your ham into bite-size pieces.
- Put your toppings on your pizza; ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives. It is called capricciosa (capricious) because all these different toppings go all together, so just don’t worry shaping them.
- Transfer your pizza capricciosa into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. For more detailed instructions on how to bake your pizza in a wall oven, click the link.
You need 280 g (10 oz) of dough for a regular size pizza, and 140 g (5 oz) for a small pizza.
If you are making more then one pizza, cut the dough into equal sizes, about 10 oz or 280g each and form a ball for each one of your pizzas.
Your pizza capricciosa is ready. Take it out of the oven, let it rest for a minute, and serve warm. Enjoy!
Pizza Capricciosa Toppings Tips
To really enjoy your pizza capricciosa, I recommend you use quality products. I think one of the most important factors of making a real Italian pizza is to use less toppings, but with excellent quality.
- Italian prosciutto cotto (literally cooked ham) is what makes the difference in any pizza, so be sure you try it!
- You can use regular button mushrooms, or Italian brown mushrooms, which are basically immature portobello mushrooms.
- If you don’t want to hassle with preparing your fresh artichokes (or you can’t get them), just use canned artichoke hearts. They have a slight vinegary taste, but that goes well with the other toppings of your pizza capricciosa.