Portofino Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Pancetta

(from Piatto Unico, by Toni Lydecker)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 1 16-inch pizza or two 9-inch pizzas


  • 2 ounces pancetta diced small (about 1/3 cup, packed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • ½ to 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 pound pizza dough at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 cups grated fresh mozzarella


  1. Line a lower oven rack with quarry tiles or a pizza stone (if you have either) and preheat the oven to 500°F or the maximum temperature. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, sauté the pancetta in 2 tablespoons olive oil until it has rendered most of its fat but is not crisp, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove to a small bowl.
  2. Add the onions to the pan; add up to 1 tablespoon more oil and cook until soft and the edges are beginning to bronze, about 15 minutes altogether. Add the sugar and salt. Continue to cook until the onions are a medium golden (they will brown more in the oven); cool to lukewarm.
  3. Lightly oil a pizza pan or baking sheet. Gently stretch and pat the dough into a 16-inch round or two 9-inch rounds. Sprinkle the cheese over the dough. Spread the onions on top; sprinkle with the pancetta.
  4. Place the pizza pan on the rack with the tiles for 5 minutes. Once the crust has firmed up, slide it directly onto the tiles.     Bake 5 to 7 minutes longer or until the crust and topping are browned.