Pizza Capricciosa | RecipeTin Eats

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Topped with artichokes, ham, olives and mushrooms with a tomato pizza sauce, this is a pizza that’s almost uniquely Australian that we are VERY fond of! I just love this combination of toppings. Especially the artichokes!

Capricciosa pizza

Pizza Capricciosa

This is a pizza that Australians expect to see on every pizza menu, no matter how traditional Italian or how big-chain the pizzeria in question is. Ironically though, as soon as I wrote that sentence, I popped onto the Pizza Hut website only to find that gasp, shock, horror Capricciosa is not on offer on their menu.

Dominos, however, does have it. Phew. Order has been restored in the world!

I was interested to learn that Pizza Capricciosa is apparently an Australian thing. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist in Italy. It does, it’s just not as common as, say, Margherita. And there’s no strict rules for what goes on it.

In fact, “capricciosa” means “random” in Italian so perhaps a pizzeria invented this using whatever they had on hand!

However, the combination of artichokes, mushrooms, olives and ham is the most common version that Australians have come to expect on Pizza Capricciosa. And that’s what I put on mine!

Capricciosa pizza

What goes on Capricciosa pizza

There’s no strict rules for what goes on Pizza Capricciosa. Some regional varieties in Italy use egg and anchovies! But the most common combination here in Australia is artichokes, olives, ham and mushrooms. Never-fail combination!

  • Mozzarella cheese – freshly shredded, for the best melt! Store bought pre-shredded is coated with anti-caking agents so it doesn’t melt as well. Also, most brands tend to shred the cheese thicker so it weighs down the pizza with too much cheese (there, I said it! Whoever thought there could be such a thing?? 😂)

    Best pre-shredded – However, if you do want to use pre-shredded cheese for convenience (I get it), buy the type that is designed for pizza. It will have the word “pizza” on the cheese packet. The cheese strands will be grated a little more finely than typical packet cheese, and usually includes a mix of mozzarella with parmesan and/or cheddar for a flavour boost (which sort of makes up for not having the glorious smooth melt you get from freshly shredded mozzarella).

  • Artichokes – From a jar rather than fresh or frozen plain artichokes, preferably marinated in oil which is the tastiest. Though, I happily use artichokes marinated in vinegar too (brine).

  • Mushrooms – Just regular white mushrooms, or Swiss brown/cremini if you want.

  • Shaved leg ham – Just regular ham! Try to get it thinly shaved, if you can, so it drapes and flops nicely on the pizza. If you can only get regular slices of ham, chop it up so you can sprinkle it across the surface for better coverage.

  • Kalamata olives – I prefer the flavour and texture of Kalamata olives over standard black olives, they’re softer and have more flavour. But black olives can be used too.

  • Pizza sauce – See below.

Pizza base options

You can make this pizza with my classic pizza base (yeast based, takes 5 to 6 hours of proofing). Or, if time is of the essence (or you “don’t do yeast”), use my No Yeast Pizza Base which you can have rolled out and ready to top in 5 minutes flat. And it’s not a sad substitute for the real thing! It’s truly great. Some of the most capable cooks I know have given it a test run and been amazed. 🙂

You can also absolutely use your favourite store bought pizza base. Get one that’s 30cm / 12″ wide.

the tomato pizza sauce

I have 3 types of pizza sauces I use depending on what type of pizza I’m making (find them here). For Pizza Capricciosa, I like to use one made with tomato paste with flavourings added, a super quick you just need to mix together, no cooking.

It tastes like the ready made pizza sauces sold in the aisles. Specifically, the Leggo’s brand (for Australians reading this!).

Spreading homemade pizza sauce on homemade pizza crust

The ingredients called for are basic – tomato paste, salt, sugar (to take the sour edge off) with optional garlic and dried herbs for extra flavour.

How to make Pizza Capricciosa

We’re using a good ole’ oven today. If you’ve got a wood fired pizza oven, Ooni or similar: a) I want to be you; b) follow the provided steps for cooking the pizza on a pizza stone except you will just flick the pizza straight onto the floor of the pizza oven/Ooni. (PS An Ooni is a brand of portable gas pizza ovens which I have used in the past. Love them! Pizza in 2 minutes flat.)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C / 480°F (230°C fan). Give it plenty of time to get it nice and hot – pizza success demands a hot oven for a quick cook!

    If you’ve got a pizza stone, pop it in to preheat. If you’re using a pizza pan or baking tray, don’t bother pre-heating it. I find that the heat retention isn’t enough to make a significant difference to the pizza.

  2. Make your pizza dough of choice then stretch it out into a 30cm / 12″ circle. (Note: Don’t use a rolling pin if you’re using a classic yeast pizza dough, stretch it out with your fingers. Though if you’re using the no-yeast one, you can use a rolling pin!)

  1. If you’re using a regular pizza pan like I am, slide the rolled our base onto the pan (or baking tray) as we will assemble the pizza on it. See separate section below for how to assemble pizzas to cook on a pizza stone.

  2. Mix the pizza sauce ingredients in a small bowl. No cooking required – yay! Then spread it on the pizza base, leaving a border for the crust.

  1. Sprinkle with cheese first, then scatter/drape/place the toppings all across the surface (ham , olives, artichoke slices and mushroom).

  2. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust is crispy and there are light brown spots on the melted cheese. Cut and devour immediately!

Capricciosa pizza

How to cook pizza using a pizza stone

Pizza stones retain more heat than basic pizza pans so you can get a crispier crust on the underside when cooking pizzas in home ovens. Here’s how I make pizzas on a pizza stone:

  1. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes in a 250°C/475°F oven (both standard and fan-forced ovens), or as high as your oven will go if yours doesn’t go this high. Give it a good 30 minutes to get the pizza stone nice and hot!

  2. Assemble your pizza on a pizza paddle or an inverted baking tray sprinkled with a generous amount of semolina* to ensure the pizza will not stick.

  3. Roll your pizza base out then place it on the semolina dusted pizza paddle. Spread with sauce and top per the recipe.

  4. Take the hot stone out of the oven then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone in one quick movement, bearing in mind that you cannot touch the pizza the moment it hits the stone.

  5. Put the pizza in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until you see golden spots on the cheese. The underside of your crust will be so crispy!

* Semolina is coarser than flour so it works better to be absolute sure your pizza won’t get stuck to the pizza paddle. This is what pizzerias use. But I wouldn’t make a special trip out to get it, just use regular flour instead.

Is it pizza night tonight? YES!

And if your family demands more topping options, head straight over to my Pizza Toppings post for a handy one-stop-shop for all your favourite topping combinations. It’s like a pizzeria menu!

But if you want something guaranteed to please everyone, Pizza Capricciosa is hard to beat. The combination of artichokes, ham, olives and mushrooms with melty mozzarella will never let you down! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Capricciosa pizza

Pizza Capricciosa

Servings1 x 30cm/12″ pizza

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. Topped with artichokes, ham, olives and mushrooms with a tomato pizza sauce, this is a pizza that’s almost uniquely Australian that we are VERY fond of! Though you can find it in some parts of Italy, you won’t see it in many other places around the world.I just love the combination – and that you can be generous with the toppings without overwhelming the pizza. Cook times:Classic yeast pizza dough – 5 to 6 hrs dough rising (total) | 10 min prep | 10 min cookNo-yeast pizza dough – 0 min dough rising | 10 min prep | 10 min oil steeping | 10 min cookStore bought pizza dough – 5 min prep | 10 min prep | 10 min cook** To make more than one pizza (who ever makes just one??!) slide the servings scaler **


Pizza base – choose one (Note 1):


  • Preheat oven to 250°C / 480°F (both fan and standard). Allow time to get it nice and hot!!

  • Pizza sauce – Mix the ingredients in a small bowl then set aside.

  • Pizza base – Make and roll out your chosen pizza base, stretch onto a pizza pan or baking tray per the directions in your chosen pizza base. (Note 4 for pizza stone)

  • Top – Spread the pizza sauce on the pizza, leaving a 1 cm/1/2″ border along the edge. Sprinkle with cheese first, then drape the ham randomly across the surface, sprinkle with olives, artichoke slices and mushrooms. (If using the no-yeast pizza base, spray/brush exposed crust with olive oil.)
  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, turning after 4 minutes, or until the the cheese has golden spots and the crust is crispy. Cut and eat, stat!

Recipe Notes:

1. Pizza base choices –

  • Classic pizza dough (yeast) – 5 min hand knead or stand-mix or 40 second food processor, plus 4 to 6 hours rising time (across 2 rises)
  • No yeast pizza dough – This is excellent, not a sad substitute for yeast pizza. 40 seconds in food processor, or hand knead. NO RISE TIME.
  • Store bought – anything of your choice, un-cooked or par-cooked (else it will burn before cheese melts)

2. Cheese notes – Freshly shredded melts / spreads better because pre-shredded in packets are coated with anti-clumping agents and often thicker pieces. If using cups for measuring, shred first then pack it into the cup very tightly else you’ll be short – so sad. I cut hunks of cheese, weigh, then grate.
3. Artichokes marinated in oil are tastiest, followed by vinegary marinades. Plain frozen or fresh artichokes will lack flavour.
4. Ham – Try to get finely shaved ham if you can, which is a standard ham-slicing option at Australian delis. Better coverage without weighing down pizza too much. But definitely not the end of the world if you only have standard slices – suggest chopping it into pieces and sprinkling.
5. Pizza stone – Preheat the pizza stone until very hot. Assemble your pizza on a pizza paddle or inverted baking tray sprinkled with semolina (so pizza doesn’t stick). Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone with a flick, in one swift motion, remembering that you can’t move the pizza once the dough makes contact with the stone! Bake for around 8 minutes.
Nutrition is for the whole pizza.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 1170cal (59%)Carbohydrates: 176g (59%)Protein: 51g (102%)Fat: 31g (48%)Saturated Fat: 12g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 43mg (14%)Sodium: 4162mg (181%)Potassium: 1513mg (43%)Fiber: 15g (63%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 1147IU (23%)Vitamin C: 30mg (36%)Calcium: 376mg (38%)Iron: 13mg (72%)

Life of Dozer

Dozer turned 12 last weekend!

We’re only a month out from winter here in Sydney but the weather was glorious. The perfect birthday weekend to spend at his favourite dog beach, Bayview in the Northern Beaches of Sydney!

The water was so still, I even let him go for a little swim (as in, 10 seconds!). HIs first proper swim since January!

Though in hindsight, and looking at how his mouth is just on the waterline, it was probably not a wise thing to do. Too easy for him to accidentally inhale water into his lungs because of his paralysed larynxes. I think I’m going to have to get him a life jacket to keep his head fully elevated out of the water. I see much amusement coming our way as he adjusts to swimming with a life jacket!!!

And here he is, saying hello to Jeff, the local who lives at the dog park (and is the reason the park is in such pristine condition!). Jeff is doing really well! His jokes are as bad as ever. 😂

The last few months have been rough for him and there are still challenges that lie ahead. But right now, I’m taking it one day at a time and his 12th birthday is a big milestone to celebrate!

Happy birthday Dozer! I love you so very much!

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