Prosciutto, Basil and Olive Pizza


Well here it goes, my first blog entry about  food. As some of you may know,  my day job is as a sailor and I have spent countless hours looking out from the bridge of a ship thinking about food. Wondering things like “why I have never seen anyone fry ribs? How many things you could do with pulled pork? Or what places I want to eat at when I get home. It borders on obsession. The only thing that saves me from being grossly overweight is my metabolism and the fact that I TRY to stay active. After seeing examples of people out there blogging about food, I had something new to dream about (in between avoiding 800 foot tankers in the Mobile ship channel).  So here I am putting weeks of thought to action with grilled pizza.

pizza ingredients

I decided to do pizza because it was date night with the girlfriend, what’s more romantic than two people tossing cured meat on a piece of dough? I hate to admit it but I have never made my own pizza dough (doesn’t seem to hard, I just haven’t tried yet) and figured I would leave that for another post.  Although Boboli does an okay job with their pre-made crust you can buy at the grocery store, I wanted to be a little more creative for such an occasion and besides who wants to see pictures of a Boboli crust? I wanted to make a pizza modeled after my favorite and 2nd favorite pizza places, Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT and Vic and Angelo’s in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.


Since Pepe’s is over 1,000 miles away, I opted for the 4 mile trip to Vic and Angelo’s to see if they sold their dough, which uses water shipped from New York City.  I assume there are a few New Yorkers out there that don’t like drinking NYC tap water but for some reason it does special things to dough. This is very apparent if you have ever had a bagel in the city that never sleeps. They didn’t sell dough at Vic’s but the sight of the coal fired oven and the smell of pizza gave me a little boost of motivation. I had to go to my favorite Italian specialty store for other ingredients and figured I could get the dough there as well. Whenever I want fresh veggies, a great cut of meat, sausage or other quality ingredients, I hit up Joseph’s Classic Market in Palm Beach Gardens. Sure its a bit more expensive but when making something like pizza you can taste the difference.


Joe’s did have pizza dough and I gathered the other things I needed. Joe’s makes excellent fresh mozzarella and since I was making my own sauce I wanted some quality canned tomatoes (I recommend Tuttorosso– Peeled Plum Shaped Tomatoes). Once home I started preparing the ingredients and getting my fire ready. The key to a great pizza is heat and more heat. My oven can only get up to 500 degrees, I wanted to try to hit the 700 degree ballpark. To do so I would use wood (which burns hotter than charcoal) and charcoal. I would also cook my pizza on the grill on a pizza stone. I use a chimney to light my wood and also use it for charcoal as well because I hate using lighter fluid. There is nothing worse than eating something that tastes like it was marinated in lighter fluid.

red lizard

When I first lit the chimney, the smoke was so thick I had to continuously poke my head over the fence to let stopping cars know there wasn’t a fire. The last thing I wanted was the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Department showing up. In all the excitement I forgot to take the dough out early and let it rise. Dough should be allowed to rise at the very least 1 hour, mine only had about 30 minutes and it turned out great but I am sure it would have been easier to work and a little tastier if it had more time. With the fire ready to go, it was time for the toppings. I made my own sauce but will leave that for another post.


How much of any toppings and sauce to add is a personal thing and we all have our own taste, but adding anymore sauce than what’s in the picture above and you may end up with a soggy mess. After adding my toppings I like to sprinkle some high quality grated Parmesan and Peroni Beer (just kidding about the Peroni, the six-pack was  about gone by now anyway) on top. The thermometer on my grill was reading a scorching 650 degrees and I sprinkled a little bit of cornmeal on the pizza stone to ease the process of taking it off  the stone later.


How long you cook the pizza is again personal preference, I like a thin crust that has a good crunch and is well done. Cooking time can also vary depending what temperature your cooking at. This fella was ready to go in about 8-10 minutes and it turned out as good as I hoped it would. We also made a second pizza adding pepperoni which tasted even better than the first one. I had never done a pizza on stone on a grill and I was unsure how the stone would hold up so close to such  a  hot direct flame, but it worked like a charm and hope it does for you to.

pep pie


1 ball fresh Mozzarella, thinly sliced

2 Tbls Parmesan cheese

6 basil leaves, torn

3 prosciutto slices

1 cup your favorite marinara sauce (can vary to your taste and pizza size)

sliced olives

olive oil

1 six-pack Peroni Beer (for human hydration)

1 pizza dough

Place the dough in a well oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled, 60-90mins. After dough has risen sprinkle flour over working surface and on rolling-pin and roll dough to desired size.

Preheat oven to 450 deg or max temperature. If cooking on grill, light coals and/or wood.

Spread the sauce over the dough. Add mozzarella then remaining topping.

When the flames die out and the wood/coals are bright red, put pizza stone on top of grill grate and allow the pizza stone to get hot. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over pizza and cook in covered grill for 10mins or until crust is browned. If cooking in 450 degree oven cook for 15-20mins.

Cut pizza into slices, grab the Peroni and Buon Appetiio

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Categories: Pizza and Breads, Recipes


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11 Comments on “Prosciutto, Basil and Olive Pizza”

  1. Graydon
    August 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    It’s monday morning and after reading this I’m going up to Pepe’s for lunch. Thank you for sharing.

    • thedish22
      August 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

      thanks graydon, of course this pizza was no pepe’s but i was a worthy stand in.

  2. December 3, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    Wow! That is truly ambitious…and delicious 🙂

    • Toriano's "La Buena Vida"
      December 3, 2009 at 10:42 am #

      thanks, its no Pepe’s but there is only one place to get Pepe’s

  3. August 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on La Buena Vida and commented:

    Three years ago today I posted on this site for the first time. I like looking back and seeing what was going on in my life and what I was eating. So here is a look back at August 10th 2009

  4. August 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    A gorgeous pizza and a good choice in beer 😀


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    […] About Prosciutto, Basil and Olive Pizza […]

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    […] topping – click for recipe, just add the […]

  4. What Started as Food Blog | La Buena Vida - August 10, 2013

    […] first post I wrote was four years ago today and was called “Prosciutto, Basil and Olive Pizza” and it started a process of recording and sharing my life with others on this thing people were […]

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