Panuozzo, the Italian pizza sandwich

Looking for ideas on how to use leftover pizza dough? How about a Panuozzo? The Panuozzo is originally a street food from Campania and a kind of pizza sandwich that can be filled with cheese, meat, vegetables and other ingredients. The great thing is that for the bread you can simply take your regular pizza dough, bake it “naked” and then it rises in the oven like a pillow because the dough is not weighted (similar to a Pita). And you have an airy bun, which you can fill with all kinds of goodies!

Background and history of the Panuozzo

The invention of Panuozzo dates back to 1980, when it first saw the light of day at the Mascolo pizzeria in Gragnano, a town south of Naples and north of the Amalfi Coast. The bread is made from the same dough used for a pizza. According to the original recipe of Pizzeria Mascolo, the pizza dough is shaped into sandwich length and measures a proud 25-30 cm. The panuozzo is then baked for 30 minutes, then filled and then baked again with the ingredients for a few minutes, e.g. to melt the cheese and make the bread crispy again. It is then served in 2 or 4 pieces or if desired also wrapped in paper as street food to go.

The “original” Panuozzo is filled with pancetta and mozzarella or with prosciutto ham and mozzarella or with salsiccia and friarielli (broccoli turnip greens from Campania). The “Tommaso” Panuozzo is also a popular option, filled with mozzarella, pancetta, mushrooms and a spicy sauce. By the way, Pizzeria Mascolo pays attention to the selection of regional ingredients such as dairy products from the Lattari mountains and also the pizza flour comes from Gragnano, which is also one of the largest regions for pasta production.

So much for the background of the Panuozzo. Of course you can bake a much smaller Panuozzo and fill it with the ingredients of your choice. For the dough you can use any pizza dough recipe from the blog here, because the preparation is very simple and straightforward.

Ingredients (for 1 Panuozzo):

  • 180 gr pizza dough (of course it can be more or less dough depending on your preference)

Filling:

For the filling you can give free rein to your creativity. I have decided on the following filling

  • Ox heart tomatoes
  • Fior di latte
  • Basil

Preparation:

  • Flour the work surface, place the dough on it and press it with your fingers into the shape and length of a sandwich. You don’t need to leave an edge out, as you do with Neapolitan pizza, but you can shape the entire dough to an even thickness.
  • Transfer the pizza dough to the pizza peel and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until the dough puffs out like a pillow and the surface begins to color slightly. This usually takes about 3 minutes. In a regular household oven, bake the dough in a preheated oven at 250 degrees until the dough puffs out like a pillow and the surface colors slightly.
  • Remove the bread from the oven, place it on the work surface and cut it in half on the side with scissors or a knife and unfold it into two halves. Please note that the panuozzo may still be very hot.
  • Now top the panuozzo with the ingredients of choice. Close the panuozzo and put it back in the oven for 1 – 2 minutes until the cheese is slightly melted or the top of the bread gets more color.
  • Remove the Panuzzo from the oven, cut in half and serve!

This is how the finished Panuozzo looks like


Have you already tried this Panuozzo recipe? Let me know how you liked it in the comments!

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