If you love anchovy pizza, this one is for you. The nutty pecorino crusted pizza crust and sweet ripe figs offers the perfect contrast to the salty, deliciously savory anchovies.
Why this anchovy pizza?
- The simplicity of this pizza is the perfect canvas to showcase the taste of salty anchovies. The sweet ripe figs, nutty pecorino and bits of toasted garlic infused into the crackly thin crust pizza offer the perfect contrast.
- Prep is super simple – just use store bought pizza dough if you don’t have any Homemade Thin Crust Pizza Dough in your freezer. You can also mix and match the ingredients based on what you have – some ideas are provided in the next section.
- Clean up is easy – you just need a baking sheet for this recipe!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Anchovies add a depth of flavor that is hard to duplicate. While anchovies come in various forms, this recipe is the kind that has been filleted, salt cured and is sold in olive oil. Because anchovies have a very concentrated taste.
- Pecorino romano is a delicious hard cheese with a sharp flavor. You can substitute pecorino romano for parmesan – just use about a third less, as parmesan tends to be noticeably saltier.
- In this recipe, figs offer a sweet, fruity contrast to the salty anchovies. Instead of fresh figs, dollops of fig preserves would work as well – very thinly slices of apple or pear or red onion will also do the trick.
- Instead of aged balsamic glaze you can also use hot honey or maple syrup.
How to make this homemade pizza
The full instructions on how to make the anchovy, fig and pecorino pizza is available in the recipe card at the bottom, however, here is a look of what’s involved.
Anchovies are an intensely flavored fish which are typically fillets, salt cured and preserved in oil. Anchovies have a savory umami flavor which adds an intense depth of flavor. According to WebMD, anchovies have major health benefits. They are a source of vitamins and minerals and are also a source of anti-aging omega-3 fatty acids and skin cancer fighting selenium.
Mostly because of the intense flavor which many love. For pizza, the best are the ones which are salt-cured, filleted and come in a can filled with olive oil. If you find individual anchovy fillets too strong, use less anchovies, or break up the fillets and scatter them on the pizza for a milder flavor.
Use anchovies which are salt-cured, filleted and come in a can or jar filled with olive oil. Arrange the anchovies on top of the pizza and bake until golden brown and bubbly. While Bon Appetit recommends putting anchovies on pizza after baking, I like baking my pizza with the anchovies because it melts slightly into the pizza and tastes heavenly. If you find individual anchovy fillets too strong, use less anchovies, or break up the fillets and scatter them on the pizza for a milder flavor.
Even salt cured anchovy fillet used for pizza have bones, but there is no need to remove them. The bones are also tiny and soft due to the salt curing process. When you bake them with the pizza, they melt into the ingredients transforming into a flavorful paste, so most people do not even notice the bones.
Actually they are two completely different fish. Sardines have a lighter, less intense flavor and are slightly bigger fish. Anchovies are smaller fish and due to the salt curing process have an intensive umami flavor. Because anchovies are typically salt cured, the flesh is a reddish brown while sardine flesh is white. Anchovies are often used in traditional pizza recipes which unlike sardines, is often used as a topping.
Other fun topping ideas
I love making homemade pizza because you can explore creative topping combinations and are not limited to a menu. Below is a list of some of our favorite topping combinations:
Salmon, Burrata, Capers & Red Onion Pizza
Finally, if you make this recipe..
I’d love to hear how it went – please leave a comment and rate this recipe. Above all, I love hearing from all of you and will do my best to answer each and every comment!
Anchovy, Fig & Pecorino Pizza Recipe
- Baking Tray
- 1 pizza base homemade or store bought
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup freshly grated romano
- 12 anchovy fillets flat
- 9 figs halved
- 1 tbsp fig balsamic glaze
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tbsp capers
- Rest the dough for at least an hour outside the refrigerator to bring the dough to room temperature before preparing the pizza
- Preheat oven to 500° F.
- Pour out the dough. Punch and press into a round shape. Stretch out the dough by rotating on your knuckles and letting gravity do the rest. Make sure the dough is stretched as evenly as possible. Press out as many of the bubbles as possible with your fingertips and mend holes by pressing the dough. Place the pizza onto a baking sheet (no flour dusting is necessary for the baking sheet.
- Add the toppings evenly on the pizza base in the following order: olive oil, romano , minced garlic, figs and anchovies.
- Put the pizza in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes.
- Put the pizza in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes.
- Garnish with capers. Drizzle with fig balsamic glaze. Serve immediately
- Tips for using store bought pizza dough
- Keep the dough in the store bought bag in the deep freezer until ready to use.
- Defrost overnight in the refrigerator in the bag.
- For optimal results, let the dough sit out for at least an hour so it is at room temperature before stretching into the pizza base.
- Assemble the pizza right before baking to avoid a soggy crust.
- If a hole appears in your dough, push it back in and seal the dough.
- Brush the entire dough surface with olive oil.
- There is no need to dust the baking sheet with flour. However if like a bit of a crunchy, nutty texture – a little semolina on the bottom of the dough does wonders.
- Recipe yields approximately 8 servings. The nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and is intended for informational purposes only and should be used as a general guideline. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should independently verify it using your preferred tool.