It’s been a month since I posted a pizza recipe! So, it is time to end the drought with a Portuguese pizza. Or pizza à portuguesa, as we call it in Brazil. Now, don’t freak out with the boiled eggs, people! Stay with me! I’m serious! I know it looks different, but this is a truly delicious pizza.
And to be honest, the boiled egg is almost the only ingredient that all Brazilian recipes I researched seem to agree on. I mean, other than the basics like crust and cheese. Like many things Brazilian, if you were to ask 5 different people how to make a proper Portuguese pizza, you would likely get 5 different recipes. Some add a sausage called calabresa. Others add peas. Some add sweet pepper rings (green or red). And still others add sliced tomatoes. My sister Karen likes hers with sliced heart of palm.
So as not to mislead you, this is not a pizza of Portuguese origin. It’s a Brazilian pizza that, we’ve been told, got its name from the red, white/yellow, and green ingredients. Those are the main colors in the Portuguese flag. And since Brazil was originally a Portuguese colony, it all makes sense, right?
This recipe is based on the way I remember eating Portuguese pizza at the local Italian restaurant we used to frequent in Curitiba, Restaurante Landerna. Only theirs included tender cooked peas. I love it with peas, but I wasn’t sure everyone else would, so I made it without. If you are a pea lover, don’t be afraid to throw some cooked peas on top at the end.
I really love this pizza and I’ve gotten Steve hooked on it as well. The tang of the sauce, with the creaminess of the cheese. Add the sweetness of the ham and onions, the brininess of the olives. And finally, the rich and velvety topping of the boiled eggs, aromatic oregano and luscious olive oil. It all comes together to form a real party-in-your-mouth kind of thing. You just have to give it a try.
Let’s make a Portuguese Pizza
Pizza à portuguesa is a red-sauce pizza. And I won’t mess with that because I love it just the way it is.
If you have read my other pizza recipes, you’ll know that I usually prefer white pizzas. I have never really come up with a red pizza sauce I liked, and since I rarely make red pizzas, it’s just easier to buy a ready-made sauce. So, that’s what I did today.
As for the dough, I used my trusty dough recipe, but I did not roll it with a pin, this time. Because I wanted a nice, pizzeria-style crust. So, I hand stretched the dough to protect both the air bubbles and the gluten strands. The result was a nice, chewy crust with a whole cave-like string of nooks and crannies inside.
Before assembling the pizza, heat your oven to its highest temperature (usually 500° to 550° F) and place your pizza stone in the center rack to pre-heat.
Then stretch your pizza dough to about 14 inches and give it a slightly raised border to help contain the toppings.
Place it on a pizza peel, or an upside-down baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
Next, layer the toppings by using 2/3 of the cheese, then the ham slices (laid flat), the remaining cheese, then onions and olives.
Finally, slide the parchment and pizza onto the pre-heated pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is cooked and the cheese fully melted.
Remove from the oven and immediately spread the slices of boiled egg, sprinkle some dried oregano, and drizzle some olive oil on top.
And you’ll get something that looks like this little thing of beauty. You have no idea how good this smells!
Slice up that gorgeous creation, and mark the day you learned that a Portuguese pizza, with boiled eggs, is something you need to consume again. Several times between now and, you know, the rest of your life. Because, from that first bite, you’ll understand why this pizza is so popular in Brazil!
- 1 pound raw pizza dough (recipe here or a ready-made raw crust
- 4 heaping tablespoons pizza sauce
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 8 slices Black Forest deli ham
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- 12 green olives
- 2 boiled eggs, thinly sliced
- 1 large pinch of dry oregano
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (about 1 tablespoon)
- To start, pre-heat the oven and a pizza stone at the highest setting (500° or 550° F).
- Next, hand-stretch the pizza dough until thin on the bottom with a raised lip along the border (about 14-inches round).
- Place on a pizza peel covered with parchment paper (or place the parchment paper on the back side of cookie sheet).
- Spread the pizza sauce on the crust.
- Add 2 cups of the mozzarella, then the ham slices, then 1 cup of the mozzarella, then the onions, and finally the olives.
- Slide the parchment paper and prepared pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is fully cooked and the cheese is fully melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with the sliced egg, sprinkle the oregano and drizzle the olive oil.
- Slice and serve hot.