Tonkatsu Ricotta Pizza
In this section, chefs and culinary professionals test out Japanese seasonings and ingredients and create original recipes with their fresh perspectives. This month Chef Mark Bello of Pizza a Casa Pizza School on the Lower East Side created a unique pizza inspired by tonkatsu, Japanese style pork cutlet with thick sauce.
“Italian and Japanese cuisines have a lot in common, good ingredients and simply prepared. I wanted to do something simple for this recipe. So, I made a pizza Bianca in a traditional New York style, combined with shredded cabbage, pork belly, and roasted sesame and tonkatsu sauce to finish.”
[Ingredients: Yields 1 pizza]
• 8 oz. pizza dough, stretched to 10″-12″ in diameter
• 1 1/2 oz. fresh, salted mozzarella (or whole milk, low moisture mozzarella)
• 1 cup shredded cabbage (raw)
• 4 oz. whole milk ricotta
• 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled and cut into little cubes
• 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove of garlic very finely minced or grated into a paste
• 2 oz. sliced pork belly (or sliced pancetta) cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
• 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano or other aged/salty/sharp cheese
• Tonkatsu sauce to drizzle on pizza after it comes out of the oven
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 8-15 minutes depending on your oven temperature and desired doneness
Preheat: oven to as high as it goes on BAKE (typically 500°F to 550°F)
1. Mix ricotta, butter cubes, garlic, cabbage and extra virgin olive oil
2. Stretch dough to desired diameter (10″ thicker, 12″ thinner) and lay on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, pizza pan or screen (or extra points if you have a pizza stone and peel)
3. Tear mozzarella into little nuggets and scatter about your stretched dough
4. Apply a dollop (roughly a tablespoon) of ricotta mixture in the center of your dough. You should be able to get about 6-8 spoonfuls out of the ricotta mixture– dollop them about the pizza in a reasonably symmetrical configuration, careful to apply at least 3 inches in from perimeter of your pizza. No need to spread out– like magic the ricotta mix will melt and uniformly spread-out as the pizza bakes (also initially leaving open spaces as your pizza bakes makes for a better cooked crust)
5. Evenly distribute strips of pork
6. Sprinkle pecorino evenly over the pie extending all the way to the outer perimeter of the crust. Toasty bits of cheese on the outer edge of the pizza means fewer “bones” (that’s pizzeria lingo for the discarded crust ends) to clean up after your pizza party!
7. Bake until outer border of crust is cooked to your desired doneness
8. While still very hot out of the oven, drizzle tonkatsu sauce in a grid pattern across the pizza
9. Cut, serve, and be ready for some applause!
Tonkatsu is traditional Japanese style pork cutlets served with shredded cabbage and special tonkatsu sauce. The sauce is made through simmering and thickening numerous kinds of vegetables and fruits. It gives a rich, syrupy taste and a full umami boost.
After receiving a Master’s degree, Mark Bello, decided to pursue his passion for pizza. He had been teaching in numerous classes and conducted demonstrations for 15 years before he opened his own school, Pizza a Casa Pizza School. Mark and his wife Jenny have run this popular pizza school for 5 years and offer a variety of pizza classes for beginners, couples and hands-on workshops. The fun, lively atmosphere of pizza making with them and mind-blowing cooking experience there make everyone come back. Check for upcoming classes online.
Pizza a Casa Pizza School
371 Grand St.
(bet. Norfolk & Essex Sts.)
New York, NY 10002